NORCROSS -- It was a tale of two halves in the Region 8-AAAAA girls second round matchup between Parkview and Dacula at Meadowcreek High School.
After coming out over-anxious to start the game, the Panthers settled things down and showed why they are the No. 1 seed with a convincing 61-29 win. With the victory, Parkview advances to the regional semifinals and have qualified for the state tournament.
The Panthers had three players score in double-figures. Senior Enjoli Johnson led the way for the Panthers with 14 points. Johnson also got help from junior guard, Katie Carroll with 13 points, and their senior center, Lauren Coleman, had 10 points to navigate Parkview to the lopsided victory.
After shooting just 12 of 26 in the first half, Parkview was near perfect in the third quarter, going 9 of 13 from the field, while their defense held the Falcons to just 2 of 8 shooting.
"I told my team at halftime that we were the ones who looked like the underdog," Parkview head coach Mike McCoy said. "We came out in the second half settled and confident, while we put all the pressure on Dacula."
The third quarter was an embarrassing one for the Falcons. They would only score four points and their defense gave up 22. The Panthers made their first three shots of the second half and started early with a 6-2 run before the Falcons called their first of a few timeouts in the third.
The timeout didn't disrupt Parkview's shooting, and it didn't help Dacula get back on track either. The Panthers would score 13 unanswered points, looking more like the No. 1 seed.
"The No. 1 seed is just a number," McCoy said. "At the end of the day you have to win if you want to keep playing. The seed means nothing. your play on the court is what counts."
In the final quarter, both teams combined for 15 points. With 3:47 left in the game and a 56-23 lead, Parkview was able to let their reserves get some playing time. A few plays later, Dacula also gave their youngsters a chance to gain some experience.
"We rely on our bench a great deal," McCoy said. "They are mostly sophomores and freshman. It gives them a chance to earn playing time in the tournament, and also as we move forward to next year."