The Gainesville boys and girls basketball teams came to Habersham Central Saturday night eyeing a key region victory. For the Lady Red Elephants, they needed their first win inside region play, as did the Habersham Central Lady Raiders.
Gainesville (6-7; 1-1) survived a great Habersham Lady Raiders (1-13; 0-2) comeback attempt, holding on for a tight 46-43 win. Gainesville had control at the break, but Hab Central stormed back with a powerful third quarter that included an impressive 12-2 run to take a brief lead.
McKenzie McDuffie, Heather Vaughan and Halle Black were all key to getting back in the game, and it was Black’s bucket late in the third that put Habersham up 31-30. The game was tied at 32 going into the final quarter, where the Lady Red Elephants outscored Habersham 14-11. Gainesville went up by as many as eight in the fourth quarter before one last effort from the home team pulled within three when the final buzzer sounded.
The boys’ game was less dramatic, as the #4-ranked Gainesville Red Elephants (9-6; 2-0) got out to a quick 11-1 lead and led 23-3 at the end of one. The Raiders (4-11; 0-2) got a great effort from DonDon Bailey, who poured in a team-high in points, and had 14 by the end of the third, including a breakaway dunk.
Gainesville had too much firepower, as 11 different Red Elephants scored, with Jarred Rosser, Jarrell Rosser, KJ Buffen, Bailey Minor, Xavier Bledson and Rafael Rubel among others all contributing heavily in the 90-41 win.