Jackets swarm Knights

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Heath Joplin

By Rusty Misfire



BUFORD – Buford blitzed North Central twice to open the Jackets’ 2013-14 basketball season.

The host BHS teams were in top form in ripping the Class AA Knights on Monday, Dec. 2.

The Lady Jackets opened the lopsided sweep with a 61-15 win and the BHS boys smashed the Knights, 61-35 to complete the hoops sweep.

In the opener, Buford ignited early to build a 27-6 halftime lead on the way to the 46-point win.

“I was very pleased with our girls and each player, 1-10, gave a maximum effort,” BHS girls coach T.J. Armbrust said. “We wanted to start the season with a win and we responded with an outstanding effort.”

Gabby Davis paced the Lady Jackets with 18 points, 12 in the first half, when BHS built its 21-point lead. She grabbed seven rebounds.

In the second half, Buford used an 11-2 run to open the third period for a 38-8 spread.

Jasona Ballard, who netted 12 points, hit seven in the third period to boost Buford. She added four assists.

North Central, hampered by Buford’s pressure defense, was six of 47 from the field in the setback.

“Our defensive pressure led to easy transition buckets,” Armbrust said.

The Lady Jackets had plenty of contributors, with nine of 10 players scoring.

Courtney Snipes scored seven. Hanna Robinson had six. Valerine Jones, Ty Hough and Ashley Roberts added four points each. Roberts and Hough each had five rebounds. Autumn Rabon and Betty Ingram each tallied three points for BHS.

Morgan Bass netted 11 for the Lady Knights, including three treys.

“Overall, I was satisfied with our effort,” Armbrust said. “It was a great start to our season.”

The nightcap followed a familiar pattern for the maroon and gold as Buford bolted to an early and steadily pulled away for the 26-point victory.

“We played hard from start to finish,” BHS boys coach Neil Couch said. “We hustled and played hard for 32 minutes.”

Kholby Pate, who led the Jackets with 20 points, hit 10 in each half to key the win.

Corey Bracey scored 13, nine in the second half, to aid the impressive opening night victory.

Buford led 12-3 after the opening eight minutes and used a 20-7 second-half spurt to take a 32-10 lead at the break.

The Jackets built a 48-18 lead in the third period and coasted to the victory.

“A lot of our points came off defensive pressure which led to turnovers,” Couch said.

Garrett Crenshaw and Orantez Coleman each hit six points. B.J. Stratford scored five and Druw Rollings supplied four. Rhylee Blackmon added three points. Christian Joplin and Wade Lambert each scored two points.

“Our hard work in the weight room and the preseason made a difference,” Couch said. “I felt we were in game shape. I was very proud of the BHS effort.”

North Central was led by Will Jenkins, who hit 13 points.

Buford hosted Class A foe Great Falls on Tuesday night in non-region play.

The Jackets’ road game with Parkwood, originally set for Friday, Dec. 6, has been reset for Wednesday, Dec. 18 at Parkwood.

The game was moved due to Parkwood’s participation in the N.C. High School football playoffs. The Rebels face Monroe on Friday, Dec. 6.

The Jackets will host Parkwood in their first basketball meeting this season on Tuesday, Dec. 10.