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REGION 7-AAAAA: 13 proves lucky for North boys

HOSCHTON -- Thirteen is considered by some to be an unlucky number, but for North Gwinnett boys head coach Len Garner, that number had him all smiles Tuesday night.

After having its seven-game winning streak snapped Monday night at the hands of Collins Hill, North Gwinnett started another winning streak in the opening round of the Region 7-AAAAA tournament by cruising past South Forsyth 88-56 at Mill Creek High School.

Thirteen different Bulldogs found their way into the scoring column, led by 17 points from Conner Day and a solid 13 points, nine rebounds and four blocks from Matt Walker.

"Nimley (from Collins Hill) went off on us last night and one thing I talked about was that we've got to be able to bounce back from that game," Garner said. "I told the guys not to take (South Forsyth) lightly. I told them to go out and have fun and just play. You always play better when you're having fun."

If the bad taste of Monday's loss still lingered in North's mouth at the start of Tuesday's game, it quickly went away as the Bulldogs jumped to a quick 10-0 lead, eventually outscoring the War Eagles 22-4 in the first period.

All five of North's starters scored in the first quarter, led by 10 points from Alex Tiller and six more from Day.

That lead swelled to as many as 30 in the second period with North eventually carrying a 47-17 lead at the half.

That margin allowed Garner to give his bench plenty of court time in the last two quarters. Even with the starters sitting most of the second half, the North reserves never allowed the lead to shrink any lower than 24 points.

Of the players off the bench, Carlton Rose was the top scorer with eight points, Carlton Rose scored seven while Bede Okoro had six points and four rebounds, all coming in the fourth quarter.

South Forsyth, whose season ends at 1-25, was led by 17 points and four rebounds from Tyler Landry and nine points by Geronimo Cruz.

The win puts the fifth-seeded Bulldogs into the second round where they will play the tournament's No. 2 seed in Mill Creek tonight at 8 p.m. at Mill Creek High School with a berth in the state tournament on the line.

"When you have two teams equal and ready to go at each other, they're both going to rise to the occasion and it has the chance to be a barn burner," Garner said, who split the regular season series with the Hawks. "(Mill Creek) was off tonight but that's just one of the issues we will be dealing with."

Another issue for North is that tonight's game will be the Bulldogs' third game in as many nights, a situation prompted by Monday's game to make up for Friday's cancellations from the snow.

Northview 53, Collins Hill 38

Three Northview girls hit for double figures in points, led by 17 from Sydney Wallace, as the Titans ended Collins Hill's season 53-38 on Monday in the opening round of the Region 7-AAAAA tournament at Mill Creek.

The win puts the seventh-seeded Titans (12-15) into the second round where they will take on No. 2 seed Mill Creek tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Mill Creek.

The Eagles (8-17), who entered the tournament seeded at No. 8, got off to a strong start defensively by building a 10-7 lead after the first quarter.

However, Northview's offense stirred to life in the second quarter as the Titans crept out to a 26-20 lead at the half.

Bria Young led Collins Hill in scoring with 11 points while O'dez Oreadu finished with nine rebounds and six points.

Chatthoochee 63, North Forsyth 37

Jaron Blossomgame led all players with 23 points as Chattahoochee's boys topped North Forsyth 63-37. Chattahoochee (12-15) advanced to play Collins Hill tonight at Duluth at 5 p.m.

Riley Smith led North Forsyth (4-16) with 13 points.