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Norcross girls roll into final

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

HOSCHTON — The Norcross girls won the Class AAAAA title last season, but the Region 7-AAAAA tournament championship eluded them.

They can make up for that today.

The Blue Devils (23-3) rolled into today’s 4:30 p.m. region finals with a 59-37 dismantling of Duluth in the semifinals Friday afternoon. They have lost only twice this season to Georgia teams, both to region rival North Gwinnett.

“Of course we want to win (region), we want to win it every year,” Norcross girls coach Angie Hembree said. “We’ve done everything we can to get here, now we have to do something.”

Norcross led by only five points after the first quarter, but a 13-0 run led by Diamond DeShields to start the second quarter created an insurmountable lead for the Wildcats (16-11). DeShields led the Blue Devils with 22, two coming on an amazing one-handed alley-oop finish early in the third quarter.

Shayla Cooper added 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench and 11 Norcross players scored.

“I’m really proud of the way we distributed the ball,” Hembree said. “We passed the ball well. A lot of people touched the ball. A lot of people contributed. I was most proud of that.”

Kayla Nolan led Duluth with 22 points and five rebounds, while Joi Jones chipped in with eight points. The Wildcats are still playing without 6-foot-3 post Katie Powell, who is out with a high ankle sprain.