Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips
Parkview's Katie Carroll (10) goes int for a layup as Duluth's Kayla Nolan (12) tries to swipe the ball Tuesday.
LILBURN -- The Parkview girls made it to the state basketball quarterfinals two years ago and to the semifinals last season. Now, there is one step left.
"A state championship would be nice, especially after last season," Panthers standout Lauren Coleman said. "One point is tough."
Parkview lost 63-62 to eventual champ Redan a season ago in the semifinals and the Panthers certainly haven't forgotten that heartbreaker.
Coleman, sounding like a coach, said that she and her teammates are "taking it one game at a time." But everyone knows what the goal is.
Parkview opened its quest with a 70-39 victory over visiting Duluth on Tuesday night as Coleman scored 25 points and the Panthers showed off some of their talented newcomers.
Parkview has four starters back, but the returnees have plenty of help this season.
Erika Joseph, a sophomore transfer from Grayson, had nine points, seven rebounds and two assists against Duluth, while speedy freshman Marissa Mandeldove contributed six points, five rebounds and two assists.
"Our depth has talent, but they are very, very young," Parkview coach Mike McCoy said. "We're still feeling things out."
Meanwhile, the Panthers can count on Coleman to lead the way.
The Florida State signee scored nine points in the first quarter as Parkview took charge and showed off her outside shooting as the Panthers pulled away.
Coleman hit five 3-pointers and had a complete all-around game with seven rebounds and five assists.
The 6-foot Coleman was an inside player for the Panthers as a freshman and sophomore, then moved to point guard last season. She will be a wing player at Florida State.
"She was a good 3-point shooter last season, she just didn't take many," McCoy said. "She's practiced her shot, because she knows she'll need to shoot out there in college."
"We work on our shooting a lot," Coleman said. "That's really helped me."
Down 6-4 early in the game, the Panthers -- 56-6 the past two seasons -- scored 11 consecutive points en route to a 23-12 lead at the end of the first quarter and it was 34-23 at halftime. Parkview pulled away to a 58-35 lead going into the final quarter.
Katie Carroll scored 13 points for the Panthers, seven in the first quarter, and added six rebounds and four assists. Enjoli Johnson had eight points.
Duluth has to replace four key players that helped the Wildcats to three straight state tournament berths and the team's inexperienced showed.
Domonique Miller, Duluth's only senior starter and a Stetson signee, had 10 points and six rebounds. Kayla Nolan, a junior transfer from Norcross, also had 10 points and six rebounds, adding two assists.