Brookwood boys blanked by Centennial

ROSWELL -- Good teams are careful not to emotionally exhaust themselves in the early rounds of the playoffs.

So after Brookwood's dramatic elimination of visiting Marietta on penalty kicks in last week's opening round of the Class AAAAA playoffs, Broncos coach Danny Klinect was pleased his team was its typically workman bunch in Tuesday's second round against Centennial, though his Broncos lost 2-0.

Brookwood had its work cut out at Centennial, a team itself emotionally high after beating Norcross 3-0 for coach Phil Thomas' 100th win in eight seasons at the Roswell school. The Broncos had lost 3-0 to the Knights in the season's second week, but felt they were doing the right things to get even with playoff longevity at stake Tuesday.

"We've been playing smart and playing disciplined soccer," Klinect said. "These guys have known when to play a more direct ball, a more possession offense or whatever. They've been really smart on the field."

Key to even being competitive a second time at Centennial was celebrating only briefly after their penalty-kick elimination of Marietta, then buckling down in what Klinect considered disciplined practices in preparation for the second round.

"These guys got right back to business and a pretty even keel," he said.

The Broncos (14-6) kept pace with the Knights (14-4) until the 61st minute, when Centennial's Carlos McCrary took a pass from Leo Silva deep down the left side and scored from about 12 yards into the upper right corner of goal.

The Broncos played gamely thereafter, but watched the Knights ruin their six-game win streak and extend their own eighth straight playoff appearance to at least a third consecutive quarterfinal.

The Broncos impressed Thomas, whose Knights know well the caliber of soccer from Gwinnett, having lost last year's final to Collins Hill, 1-0.

"(Brookwood) a very skilled and talented team, and very dangerous, too," the Centennial coach said.

The Broncos came close to tying in the 57th minute, when Travis DeLoach drove directly on and shot from 20 yards, but barely missed wide right.

The Knights put things safely out of reach, however, on Alec Kronitz' goal in the 58th minute.

The loss was Brookwood's second in the second round in the last four seasons. The Broncos, co-champions with Parkview in 2001 and outright winners in '04, lost in the second round to Chattahoochee in '07, before reaching the semifinals against Walton in '08 and the first round against Peachtree Ridge last year.