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BUFORD – Andrew Jackson used a strong second-half rally to notch a 63-52 win over North Central to earn a bid to the Buford Preseason Invitational title game Monday, Nov. 19.
The Vols, down 37-27 at the half, outscored the Knights 36-15 in the final two periods to take the 11-point comeback win.
The Vols’ victory put AJ in the title game opposite McBee, which defeated tournament host Buford, 67-52 in the nightcap Monday.
AJ senior Avalon Truesdale, who led the Vols with 22 points, scored 20 in the final half to trigger the Vols’ comeback. Truesdale hit 10 of 12 free throws to aid the AJ effort.
“I was proud of the leadership Avalon and Quadarius Fair displayed in our comeback,” AJ coach Danny Wright said. “We have stressed defense and hustle in the last week of practice and we followed through with that in the second half.”
Fair aided AJ with 11 and Trey King scored 10. Wade Eubanks tallied nine.
Rodney Thompson scored three. Tilson Kirkland, William Cunningham, Dashon Kirkland and Dustin Eddins added two points each.
AJ led 17-11 after a period of lay, but the Knights ignited on a 26-10 surge in the second quarter to take a 37-27 halftime lead. The Vols ignited in the third period on an 18-6 run to take a 45-43 lead after three periods
AJ, with Truesdale hitting eight points, continued with an 18-9 run in the final period to seal the win.
Johnson and Hough each hit 12 to lead the Knights. Brady Brister scored 11.
In the nightcap, McBee captured a 69-52 win over Buford.
McBee held a 35-33 lead at the break and rode an 18-7 third-period run to take a 53-40 lead with a period to play.
Buford sliced the McBee lead to 11, 61-50, with 2:20 to play, but McBee held its lead for the win.
Rashad Reed led McBee with 26 points, 20 in the second half. Reed was 11 of 17 from the floor. Christian Ferguson paced McBee early on, hitting 14 in the second half.
“McBee went to a zone and we didn’t attack it well,” BHS coach Neil Couch said. “Reed had a great game for McBee. He’s a great player who makes his teammates better.”
Kholby Pate paced BHS with 12. Nate Saxon and Dee Williams each scored 10. Corey Bracey hit eight and Silas Moore scored five. Garrett Crenshaw netted three. Mikeem McKinney and Orantez Coleman added two points.
Buford faced North Central in the consolation game on Tuesday. Due to holiday deadlines the Tuesday games will be published in the Friday, Nov. 24 edition.
In prep hoops preseason action tonight at the Lions Tipoff Classic at Lewisville High in Richburg, Lancaster faces Hickory Grove Academy of Charlotte at 6 and Lewisville meets Hartsville at 7:30.