Defending state champs downed

NORCROSS - The Coosa girls staged a wild celebration at midcourt when the final buzzer sounded and who could question their show of emotion.

In 2005, Greater Atlanta Christian beat the Eagles by 34 points in the state tournament. Last year it was even worse, GAC won by 55 en route to the Class AA state championship.

"They'd killed us two times," Coosa senior standout Robyn Foster said. "This is my last year. We couldn't let it happen again."

It didn't.

The visiting Eagles took advantage of Foster's 28-point effort and GAC's awful shooting to advance to the Class AA quarterfinals with a 60-56 victory Wednesday night at Bradford Gymnasium.

"We couldn't buy a basket," GAC coach Chan Means, who saw his team go 1-for-19 on 3-pointers and shoot less than 30 percent overall.

GAC (24-5) led by eight points midway through the second quarter. But after that, Coosa (25-3) held the upper hand thanks to Foster and GAC's own struggles.

"Everyone knew what happened last year," Coosa coach Connie Guinn said. "We wanted some payback. We've been getting it all year."

The victory was the 18th in the past 19 games for Coosa, the one loss coming to Model in the Region 7-AA championship game.

That dropped the Eagles to a No. 2 seed, while GAC grabbed the No. 1 spot from Region 6-AA with its victory over top-ranked Wesleyan in the region tournament.

"GAC has a great team," Foster said. "It's the greatest feeling to beat a team like that."

Coosa's boys team upset GAC on Tuesday night. A day later, the Coosa girls pulled a surprise of their own.

Foster was brilliant from the start, scoring 13 points in the first quarter. The guard finished 8-for-13 from the floor - hitting five 3-pointers in eight attempts - and was 7-for-8 from the foul line.

Coosa took a 38-34 lead at halftime with a 14-2 run and led 53-44 early in the fourth quarter before GAC scored nine straight to tie the game.

Briana Jordan gave the Spartans a 56-55 lead on the team's lone 3-pointer with 1:45 remaining. But Foster put Coosa back on top with a driving lay-up at 1:29 and the Eagles were 3-for-4 at the foul line in the final minute.

Foster iced the victory on a pair of foul shots with 7.4 seconds remaining after GAC missed two open shots from the floor.

GAC also struggled at the foul line, making just seven in 17 attempts.

Jordan and Anjelica Wilcox had 13 points for GAC, with Chaney Means adding 11 despite being shadowed by the Coosa defense all night. Wilcox and Means each had 11 rebounds.