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Carroll basket sparks Parkview

Parkview's Kelsie Stanton (12) grabs a rebound over Greater Atlanta Christian's Sierra Lawrence (23) on Saturday afternoon.

Parkview's Kelsie Stanton (12) grabs a rebound over Greater Atlanta Christian's Sierra Lawrence (23) on Saturday afternoon.

NORCROSS -- With Lauren Coleman fouling out early in the fourth quarter, Parkview had to look to someone else to make a big shot.

Katie Carroll did just that against Greater Atlanta Christian on Saturday night.

Parkview's second-leading scorer, Carroll had been having a rough shooting game until the final minute. When it counted most, the left-handed junior found nothing but the bottom of the net. Carroll sank a 3-pointer from the corner with 48 seconds remaining to break a tie and Parkview stayed unbeaten with a 47-46 victory in the Peach State Battle of the Southeast at GAC's Long Forum.

"We'd done a great job on her all game," GAC coach Cal Boyd said. "But we tried to trap in the other corner and they skipped the ball over to her. She's a good player and that was a big shot."

Carroll, normally a 40 percent shooter from behind the arc, had missed her three prior 3-point tries and had just one other basket in the game, finishing with six points -- half her average.

Chaney Means was 1-for-2 at the foul line for GAC with 36.5 seconds left to cut the deficit to 46-44, but Parkview freshman Marissa Mandeldove countered by going 1-for-2 with 31.5 seconds remaining and a final GAC basket came too late to make a difference.

"This was a character-builder for us," Parkview coach Mike McCoy said.

The Panthers, 16-0 and ranked No. 2 in Class AAAAA, trailed by eight points after GAC made the first basket of the fourth quarter and were still down by a point when Coleman fouled out despite a 7-2 run.

But Maggie Smith, who made a couple of huge defensive plays down the stretch, tied the game on a basket with a little more than two minutes left and then Carroll finally put the Panthers ahead for good.

"I can't say enough about Maggie Smith," McCoy said. "She showed some real senior leadership with those plays."

Coleman, a Florida State recruit, had 13 points, 11 rebounds and six steals for Parkview, which was 32-2 last season and reached the Class AAAAA semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Redan.

Means, headed to Western Carolina, had 15 points and eight rebounds for GAC, which is 12-4 and ranked No. 6 in Class AA. Freshman center Kristina Nelson had 12 points, eight rebounds and five blocked shots for the Spartans.

It was the third game in as many days for GAC. "We were right there, but we let the game slip away," Boyd said.

"To be behind and then lose your best player, it shows what kind of team you have when you come back and win," McCoy said. "This was a big game for us."