Buford’s Keyton Gibson got a steal and layup to give Buford a 2-1 lead with 6:10 remaining in the first quarter. Morgan County’s Jailyn Ingram threw down a nasty put-back dunk giving Morgan County a 3-2 lead with 5:28 remaining and Buford never threatened nor led again in the Boys 3A state championship. Montgomery VanGorder connected on a 3-pointer stopping a 12-0 Morgan County run cutting the lead to eight, 13-5, after that Morgan County led by double digits the rest of the way.
Buford’s deficit would go from down 15 after the first quarter, to down 19 at halftime, to down 25 at the end of the third quarter, to down 28 points with 3:06 remaining in the fourth before falling by 24, 69-45.
Morgan County easily brought the largest crowd for any school over the three days of championships and they we decked out in all red, a Red Sea if you will. They roared and cheered louder and louder the reminder of the game as the Bulldogs used an assortment of high-flying dunks, alley-oops, 3-pointers, fast break buckets and a relentless defense.
“They jumped out on us early and really dictated tempo and we just never got our footing,” Buford head coach Allen Whitehart said. “Hats off to them they played very well.”
The ring leader of the Morgan County onslaught was guard Tookie Brown. Brown shot 14-of-25 from the field finishing with 36 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals leading the Bulldogs to their first state championship. C.J. Thurman added 15 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals and 1 block, defensively giving Buford’s Rakim Lubin and D’Marcus Simonds fits when they we in the paint.
“Tookie Brown had a great game tonight. Him going that well and us not hitting as many shots as we wanted to…we struggled a bit,” Whitehart added. The Wolves shot 36% from the field and 33% from 3-point land.
Despite the tough defense Lubin had a double-double with 12 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks. He was the lone Wolf to score in double figures. D’Marcus Simonds finished with 6 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assist and 2 steals. Justin Edwards tallied 8 points.
The Region 7-AAA champions had its 21-game winning streak snapped went 1-2 against Morgan County this season and finished the season 27-6.