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Second-half surge leads Broncos

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Brookwood's Hayley Hodgson (21) drives past Berkmar's Jasmine Green (25) and Leanna Robinson.

Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Brookwood's Hayley Hodgson (21) drives past Berkmar's Jasmine Green (25) and Leanna Robinson.

NORCROSS -- With a scrappy Berkmar team hanging close for half of their Region 8-AAAAA semifinal, enough was enough for Brookwood and Katie Mallow.

The junior guard led a second-half charge as the Broncos blew the game open in the third quarter en route to a 59-41 victory Friday at Meadowcreek.

Brookwood (21-6) meets Parkview for the title tonight at 6, while Berkmar will play Grayson for third place at 3 p.m.

"We've been really good coming out of the locker room in the second half," Brookwood coach Scott Terry said after the Broncos advanced to the region title game for the fourth time in the last seven years.

"I think it's because we're playing a little bit more aggressive style of basketball than we have (in recent years)."

Leading by 10 points at the half, Brookwood seemed to have trouble shaking the pesky Patriots (10-17).

And it looked like they might hang around longer after Ka'Vonne Towns drove the lane for a layup 16 seconds into the third quarter, which cut Brookwood's lead to just 33-25.

But Mallow, who finished with game highs of 17 points and seven steals -- along with six rebounds and three assists -- and the Broncos weren't about to let that happen.

After a pair of Jazmine Jackson free throws and a stickback by Rosa Powell, Mallow scored six straight points to key a 14-3 run that pushed the Brookwood lead to 47-28 with 3:14 left in the period.

"We had problems getting momentum," Berkmar coach Julie McCutcheon said.

It was part of a strong defensive effort for both the Broncos and Mallow, who has made a conscious effort to step up her game on the defensive end.

"We definitely wanted to finish (the game) off," Mallow said. "We just felt like we had to stop (Berkmar's) drive and get the outlet pass out there quickly and speed up the game."

Jackson joined Mallow in double-figure scoring with 12 points, while Autumn Adams (eight points, 14 rebounds) and Rebecca Walker (four points, eight rebounds, four blocked shots) led a strong effort for the Broncos on the boards.

Shamicka Martin led Berkmar with 14 points. Towns added nine points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals, while Jasmine Green pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds.

The Patriots also got good minutes from 6-foot-3 junior post Teanna Robinson, who had seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks.