Staff Photo: Jonathan Phillips. Parkview's Lauren Coleman (32) takes a shot over Brookwood's Rosa Powell, right, on Saturday.
NORCROSS -- Parkview girls basketball coach Mike McCoy considered beating Brookwood 75-57 for the Region 8-AAAAA tournament championship on Saturday at Meadowcreek tougher than winning a state playoff game.
As his No. 2-ranked Panthers improved to 28-0, he said beating a neighborhood rival three times in a season is often more challenging than winning games in the state tournament, which begins next weekend.
"Facing teams a third time is tougher sometimes than just once," McCoy said. "Beating someone three times in a season is very difficult."
The Panthers repeated as region champions by beating the Broncos not quite as lopsidedly as 88-57 in December, but without the scare of 64-60 in January, when they had to overcome a seven-point deficit after three quarters.
The Panthers dominated Brookwood (21-7) from the outset Saturday, leading 21-13 after a quarter and never looking back, though Brookwood showed its resilience and drew precariously near a few times.
Brookwood slimmed Parkview's lead to 25-21 on Rebecca Walker's basket 5:53 before halftime, but the Panthers' 16-0 run over the following three minutes propelled them toward their biggest lead of the half at 49-28 on Maggie Smith's baseline drive.
"Parkview didn't miss many (shots) in that second quarter," Brookwood girls coach Scott Terry said. "I don't know how many they hit, but everything seemed to go in."
Parkview raced to its biggest advantage, 59-33, on Katie Carroll's 14-foot jumper with 4:16 left in the third quarter, but Brookwood tenaciously clawed back and came as close as it would, within 66-54, when Rosa Powell made two free throws with 3:52 left in the game.
Parkview's Lauren Coleman led all scorers with 25 points, including 12 in a second quarter in which the Panthers outscored the Broncos, 30-18. Carroll contributed 13 for the Panthers, and Erika Joseph and Enjoli Johnson bucketed 12 and 11, respectively. Jazmine Jackson led Brookwood with 17, followed by Katie Mallow's 15 and Powell's 12.
McCoy, whose Panthers haven't lost since last season's state semifinals against Redan, said his girls must maintain their focus at state.
"There's no feeling this is old hat," he said. "It's never old hat."
Grayson 55, Berkmar 50
The Rams beat the Patriots for a third time by overcoming a 42-37 deficit after three quarters and outscoring Berkmar 18-8 in the final eight minutes.
Grayson's Taren White led all scorers with 20 points and Anna LaCavera chipped in 14.
Berkmar, which led 16-6 after a quarter and 27-24 at halftime, got 10 from Ka'Vonne Towns and eight from Jazmine Green.