Buford used a 20-12 third quarter run to break open a close game and went on to a 68-54 victory over visiting North Central in last Thursday’s Region 4-AA boys’ basketball opener.
The loss dropped the Knights to 0-7 overall under first-year head coach Cary Phillips.
The two sides played to a 19-all standoff after the first quarter before the host Yellow Jackets led, 32-26, at halftime.
"Once again," Phillips said, "we got off to a really good start. But we couldn’t keep Buford’s players from getting in the paint and scoring or keep them off the glass if we did stop them."
Buford had 10 offensive rebounds in the first half, scoring baskets on six of those. Phillips said making sure his team received a better effort on the glass and in the paint was the main thrust of his talk during intermission.
"We tried to address that at halftime and make the adjustments to keep them on the outside but we just didn’t play with much intensity on the defensive end in the second half and Buford continued to kill us on the glass," he said.
The guests ran into some foul trouble in the latter stages of the game as BHS began to pull away.
Sophomore Jeremiah Jenkins led NC with 18 points while grabbing eight rebounds. Senior guard Jay Parks had a double-double with 17 points and 12 caroms while senior Will Jenkins had seven points to go along with as many rebounds.
"In the end," Phillips said, "I thought Buford played with more intensity, so give them credit. Jay Parks had a good game while Will Jenkins’ stat line was his usual, but I never took him off the court and he did all the dirty work hustling for loose balls attempting to draw charges; I was really proud of him."
In the girls’ game, Buford knocked off NC, 60-29.
The loss gave Mitch Lowder’s girls a 4-3 record on the season