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Girls Athlete of the Week: Buford guard Camille Anderson
Buford's Camille Anderson goes to the basket against Dawson County on a game Jan. 9 in Buford. - photo by Nat Gurley | The Times

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Honor roll

Corey Staples, Buford: Finished with 13 points in Wednesday’s win against Dawson County. Scored 12 points in Saturday’s win against Creekview.

Bridgette Kelly, Chestatee: Scored 11 points in Wednesday’s win against Lumpkin County. Scored 21 in Friday’s win against Monroe Area.

Deanna Bradberry, Chestatee: Tied for team high with 11 points against Lumpkin County.

Maggee Wilson, Chestatee: Chipped in 15 points against Monroe Area.

Lily Mather, Commerce: Had 12 points, 15 rebounds in Saturday’s win against Providence Christian.

Sheyenne Seabolt, Dawson County: Had 14 points against Buford. Scored 25 points with nine rebounds against North Hall on Friday.

Ashley Parker, Dawson County: Scored 12 points against Buford. Scored 15 points with 10 rebounds against North Hall.

Karlie Bearden, Dawson County: Had 12 points, seven rebounds against North Hall.

Breanna Locke, Flowery Branch: Scored 14 points in Friday’s loss to Salem. Scored 15 in Saturday’s win against North Hall.

Tanai Watson, Gainesville: Notched 15 points in Friday’s win against Clarke Central.

Taylor Hawks, Gainesville: Scored 13 points against Clarke Central.

Abbie Franklin, Jefferson: Scored 23 points in Saturday’s win against Greene County.

Kellie Goza, Jefferson: Finished with 12 points and eight rebounds against Greene County.

Sarah Williams, Johnson: Finished with 21 points in Friday’s loss to Stephens County.

Kaylee McClendon, Lakeview Academy: Scored 13 points in Friday’s win against Athens Academy.

Hanna Grogan, Lakeview Academy: Finished with 12 points against Athens Academy. Scored 13 in Saturday’s loss to George Walton Academy.

Dakota Sullens, Lumpkin County: Scored 15 points in Saturday’s loss to White County.

Sydney Cleveland, North Hall: Finished tied with a game-high 25 points with 11 rebounds in a win against Dawson County.

Katie Sayres, North Hall: Finished with 11 points against Dawson County.

Paige Thomas, White County: Had 12 points, six steals and eight rebounds in Friday’s win against East Hall.

Jordan Taylor, White County: Scored 14 points against Lumpkin County.

Camille Anderson believes Buford’s opponents expected to face a vulnerable, beatable Lady Wolves squad on the basketball court this season.

That perceived lack of respect has fueled her all season long, even though it’s hard to imagine that anyone could be overlooking the Lady Wolves at this point.

Anderson, the Wolves’ 5-foot-8 junior combo guard, has averaged 17 points per game this season while leading Buford (15-1) to 15 consecutive victories following an overtime loss to Morgan County in the season opener.

“Our motivation is knowing that every time somebody walks in that gym, they think they have a step ahead because we lost so many people (from last season),” Anderson said. “We believe we can (win) no matter what anybody thinks.”

Much of Buford’s dominance can be linked directly to Anderson, who, according to Lady Wolves coach Gene Durden, has served as the primary ball handler, scorer and defender for a team that needed a new go-to player after graduating most of its leaders from a year ago.

Anderson most recently helped keep the Lady Wolves’ winning streak alive by pouring in 27 points on Saturday in a 47-40 victory over Creekview, a consistently strong Class AAAAA program.

For her efforts, Anderson in The Times’ Girls Athlete of the Week.

“Camille has had a lot to do with our success this season,” Durden said.

“We’ve asked her to do a lot of different things. She’s just been a great trooper about them.”

Anderson is already verbally committed to play college basketball at N.C. State, where she was recruited as a wing player.

Durden said he has been most impressed with the ease in which she has transitioned from a role player as a sophomore on the Lady Wolves’ 2012-13 squad, limited mostly to outside shooting, to such an all-around threat this season.

Buford finished 24-5 last year after falling to St. Pius X in the Class AAA state quarterfinals.

“I think one of hardest things to do as a high school player is being asked to change a role that you’re comfortable in,” Durden said.

“Camille got a lot of open looks last year because other teams had to do so much double-teaming on our big girls inside. It really shows her blossoming as a complete player.”

Said Anderson: “Last year I just stood in the corner; I was kind of a spot-up shooter. I wasn’t really looked to for a big-time role.

“This year I’ve pretty much tried to put the team on my back.”

According to Durden, Anderson’s transition has been eased by her physical strength.

By working out almost every day, she has honed her ability to contribute much more than shots from outside the paint.

“She has such a strong body,” Durden said. “She shoots the 3 really well, but she also finishes around the basket really well.”

Although Buford relies heavily at times on Anderson’s ability to score, the coach believes her defense has been of equal or greater value to the team this season.

The Lady Wolves have surrendered an average of 40 points per game to opponents — second-lowest in Region 7-AAA — and have allowed an opposing team to score more than 50 points only twice this season.

Anderson typically draws the task of guarding the other team’s top offensive threat.

“I think right now she’s being a (great) defender,” Durden said. “We usually put her on the other team’s best scorer and our defense has been a staple this year, really helping us win a lot of games.”

Both Durden and Anderson believe that team chemistry has been another important factor in Buford’s success this season. Much of the team’s roster has been together since middle school, and the players have only grown closer over time.

Their ultimate goal is to claim another state championship for the program — Buford won three consecutive titles from 2009-11 — but Anderson said that winning the Big Red Shootout at Gainesville High in December was also meaningful because it was the team’s first tournament win in some time.

As for Buford’s sizable winning streak, Anderson said she doesn’t see it as any sort of burden or unwanted pressure.

“I think it’s more of a motivation than a distraction,” Anderson said.

“Who wants to lose a game after winning 15 straight games and not losing a game at home all season?”

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