Buford’s Marcus Watson struggled most of the night but made plays when they needed to be made as the Wolves snapped Cedar Shoals’ 11-game win streak with a 75-70 overtime victory Friday night in Buford. Watson banked in a 25-foot three-pointer with less than 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter tying the game at 65-all. Phlandrous Fleming missed a jumper as time expired sending the region foes to overtime.
In overtime Watson blocked Fleming, recovered it, started the break and found David Viti for the layup giving Buford a 71-67 lead in overtime with just over a minute remaining. Top-ranked Buford sealed the victory from the free throw line the rest of the way.
Viti led Buford (14-2; 6-0) with 23 points (16 in the first half), Watson and Alex Jones each finished with 12 while Dawson Wehunt chipped in with 11.
Fleming posted a game-high 24 points, A.J. Jones tallied 15 and Snipe Hall finished with 11 (8 in the fourth quarter) for third-ranked Cedar Shoals (15-3; 5-2).
Less than 24 hours later Cedar Shoals went right back on the road to face class 6A No.1 Gainesville. The Jaguars, playing without Snipe Hall due to an injury suffered in the loss to Buford, got 33 points and 15 rebounds from Phlandrous Fleming an overcame a halftime deficit to beat previously undefeated Gainesville (16-1) 63-60.
Fleming did the bulk of his scoring from beyond the arc (4 three-pointers) and at the free throw line (15-20 FT). Fleming sealed the victory by going 7-of-10 from the line in the fourth quarter. A.J. Jones finished with 11 while Stavion Stevenson chipped in 8 points as Cedar Shoals (16-3; 5-2) handed the Red Elephants their first home loss in three seasons.
K.J. Buffen-returned earlier this week from injury for the first time this season, lead Gainesville with 22 points. Jarred Russer put in 13, Xavier Bledson tallied 11 and Bailey Minor was held to 6 points for the Red Elephants.
Cedar Shoals moved up to No.2 in both major state polls after the split and Eagles Landing lost to Union Grove over the weekend. The Jags return to action Tuesday night against No.10 Flowery Branch before visiting rival Clarke Central on Saturday.