Photo: Josh Martindale. Peachtree Ridge's Brittany Jack (32) goes up for a layup past North Forsyth's Jenna Gravitt in the Lions' region win on Monday at Duluth.
DULUTH -- Having relied on seniors Brittany Jack and Erika Waters most of the season, the Peachtree Ridge girls got another strong game from the pair in Tuesday's Region 7-AAAAA tournament opener.
However, key contributions from younger players like junior Shibohan Fraser and freshman Melissa Turvy were just as important in helping the Lions survive and advance with a 54-43 win over pesky North Forsyth at Duluth's Joe Marelle Gymnasium.
Each scored eight points, and the pair combined for 12 rebounds and made several key plays down the stretch to help Peachtree Ridge (14-12) expand a lead that Jack (19 points, nine rebounds, three steals) and Waters (13 points, eight rebounds, five assists, three steals) helped build.
"The seniors didn't want to make this their last game," said Peachtree Ridge coach James Clanahan after his team advanced to take on No. 4 seed North Gwinnett today at 5 p.m. at Mill Creek. "They wanted to live and play another day. ... We've been kind of down in practice with illnesses and injuries. We've been practicing with eight (players) all week, but our bench (and underclassmen) stepped up. I'm so proud of them."
It took a while for Peachtree Ridge to get going, as it didn't record its first points until a steal and layup by Turvy with 2:16 to go in the first half.
But Jack helped the Lions build as much as a nine-point lead with eight second quarter points before taking a 21-17 lead into halftime.
North Forsyth (7-18) stayed close throughout the second half behind Callan Bennett, who led the Raiders with 13 points, and Sydney Seitz, who added 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
With Peachtree Ridge leading just 33-28 after three quarters, the two underclassmen began to make their mark.
Fraser finished off a layup after Waters penetrated the lane and passed it off just 1:07 into the final frame.
Then after coming up with a big steal on the defensive end, the 5-foot-6 junior ran the length of the floor and put back an offensive rebound to push Peachtree Ridge's lead to a more comfortable 37-29 with 6:21 to play.
Waters then helped build the lead further dishing off on assists on Gabby Cole's 3-pointer and another Fraser layup and added her own transition layup and three free throws in six attempts to eventually give the Lions a 46-36 lead with 2:23 left.
Turvy then sealed the deal, connecting on six straight free throws in a 15-second span during the final 2:06 to push the lead into double figures for good.
South Forsyth girls 67, Duluth 61
The host Wildcats had their season ended at 12-13 after falling to the War Eagles (8-18), who advanced to play third-seeded Chattahoochee tonight at 6:30 at Mill Creek.
Duluth rallied from a 33-23 halftime deficit to take a 37-36 lead on Abby Powell's right-wing jumper with 2:28 to play in the third quarter.
The Wildcats then pulled even at 43-43 after Regine Howard's three-point play with 7:11 left to play, but Courtney Clark answered with a pair of free throws to ignite a 10-3 run that helped South Forsyth pull away.
Nicole Rosanwo scored 22 points and 14 rebounds, while the War Eagles also got 20 points from Clark and 16 rebounds from T.J. Howell.
Domonique Miller had a huge game for Duluth with 15 points, 21 rebounds and two blocked shots, while freshman Joi Jones led the Wildcats with 17 points and Howard chipped in 10.
Northview boys 59, Duluth 53
The Wildcats (8-17) couldn't contain the Titans' big men as 6-9 sophomore Kyle Meyer had 15 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots, while 6-5 senior Macceile Satchell added 15 points and 16 rebounds to help Northview advance to take on No. 2 seed Peachtree Ridge tonight at 8 at Duluth.
Zane Cobb had 16 points to lead Duluth, while Nadale Fowlks and Myles Campbell each added 10. Avonte Hall also contributed eight points and 11 rebounds and Davonte Anderson had five points and 10 boards.