Dillard leads Buford in rout

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

BUFORD — Buford guard Maya Dillard didn’t score a single point in the Wolves’ second-round Class AA playoff game with Heard County on Tuesday night.

But that didn’t mean she didn’t make an impact.

Dillard spread the ball around from the point guard position and tallied 12 assists as the Wolves stormed their way to a 72-39 win over the Braves.

Those assists helped put three Wolves (26-3) in double-digits in the point column, led by 19 from sophomore Kaela Davis.

“She did such a good job tonight,” Buford head coach Gene Durden said of Dillard. “I’m not surprised at all that she had that many assists. She understands her role at the point and distributes the ball well.”

Andraya Carter also benefited from Dillard’s passing as she finished with 18 points while leading the team in rebounds with 10.

Buford got off to a quick start as the Wolves built a 21-7 lead six minutes into the game. Davis and Carter combined for 14 points in the first despite recording two fouls each.

Buford employed a press most of the first half and forced several turnovers in helping build the lead, but Heard County (15-11) found a way around that press in the second quarter to keep the game from getting out of hand.

Jemeka Parks, who finished with 12 points for the Braves, scored eight of those in the second as Heard County stayed within sight of the lead, trailing 36-23 at the half.

Any chance of a second-half surge by the Braves was snuffed out in the third as Buford’s defense clamped down, holding Heard County to just four points.

While the Braves were struggling to find points, six different Buford players scored in the third as the Wolves pulled away with a 24-4 run.

“It wasn’t a different game plan, we just did a better job of contesting shots,” Durden said. “We just followed through with our game plan a little bit better in the second half.”

Shereese Williams also helped in the win with 13 points for Buford, while Reece Walker scored 14 to lead the Braves.

“Anytime in the second round of the state you win by thirty, it’s something I’m real pleased with,” Durden said as his team continued its quest for its third straight state title. “When it gets tournament time, we try to improve every game and get to the next round.

The next round will pit the Wolves against an old region foe as the Wolves will face Rabun County, who defeated Model. The Elite Eight contest will take place on Friday night at 7 p.m at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center in Dalton.