Parkview shoots for 4th straight crown

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

LILBURN — The Parkview girls have just one senior, but four-year starter Katie Carroll can accomplish something rare.

The Panthers have won three consecutive Region 8-AAAAA championships. A victory over Brookwood tonight would make it four in a row and Carroll a perfect 4-for-4.

“Another region championship has been our goal all season,” said the Belmont signee, who had 22 points in Friday night’s 65-27 semifinal rout of Berkmar.

“Winning four straight region titles has never been done in Gwinnett County. So that was pretty much our motivation coming into the tournament.”

Carroll had 17 of her points in the second half as Parkview (22-4) blew the game wide open. The Panthers, ahead by just six points at halftime, opened the second half with 13 straight points and kept going.

Host Parkview outscored Berkmar 24-6 in the third quarter and 16-2 in the fourth as the Panthers’ defense took complete control while forcing turnover after turnover.

Erika Joseph, a junior, backed Carroll with 21 points — 13 in the second half. She and sophomore Mia Marshall each had nine rebounds and sophomore Marissa Mandeldove had four assists.

The Panthers will play No. 5-ranked Brookwood (23-2) at Parkview for the region title at 6 p.m. Berkmar (18-9) will pace South Gwinnett (16-11) in the third-place game at 3 p.m. All four teams advance to the state tournament, which begins next weekend.

Parkview took advantage of four quick Berkmar turnovers to jump ahead 9-0 before the game was two minutes old and led 12-2. But the Patriots closed to 14-10 at the end of the first quarter thanks to a run fueled by 3-pointers from Kenisha Watkins and Shamicka Martin.

Amy Adame opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer and the Patriots went ahead 17-16 on a basket by Teanna Robinson before Parkview rallied. Marshall scored to put the Panthers back ahead and Carroll hit a 3-pointer as Parkview used a 9-2 run to go into intermission ahead 25-19.

Berkmar, which had 13 turnovers in the first half, committed seven in he first three minutes of the third quarter and Parkview quickly turned a tight game into a romp.

Watkins scored nine points and Robinson had 10 rebounds to go with eight points.

Defense has been the strength of the Panthers all season and it will again be the key for Mike McCoy’s team in a third meeting with Brookwood. The teams split during the regular season, with Parkview winning the final meeting to snap the Broncos’ 22-game winning streak.