Staff Photo: John Bohn Brookwood's Colin Fite (31) and Collins Hill Julianne Bayer (33) battle for a rebound during the first half of Tuesday's game.
SNELLVILLE -- Brookwood girls head coach Scott Terry was pleased with his team's performance in the first half of its game with Collins Hill on Tuesday night.
But the Bronco head coach was quick to point out that a game lasts four quarters, and the defensive output his Broncos had in the first half wasn't nearly as strong in the second as the Eagles fought back for a 53-46 win in non-region play.
Collins Hill was forced to rely on the outside jumper in the first two periods and was a dismal 6 of 34 before the break.
But two consecutive 3-pointers to open the third quarter by Emily Buck put the Eagles up to stay as Collins Hill improved to 3-2 on the young season.
"The difference tonight was making shots," Collins Hill head coach Scott Wild said. "We got the shots we wanted (in the first half) but just couldn't knock any of them down.
"We had to rely on outside shots but weren't hitting any because the Brookwood defense did a good job of pinching us on the inside and wouldn't let us penetrate. We hit a couple to start the second half and that opened things up for us."
The Eagles began their comeback late in the second quarter.
Brookwood built a 20-12 lead with 2:00 left in the second, thanks in large to seven points in the second from Rebecca Walker.
However, Breana Singleton of Collins Hill hit 3-of-4 from the free throw line and then fed Ally Adams for a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the margin to 20-18.
Buck, who finished with 11 points and three rebounds, then gave the Eagles their first lead at 21-20 on the opening possession of the second half with a trey and extended it to 24-20 on the ensuing possession with another shot from beyond the arc.
"Collins Hill hit the shots when they needed to and we didn't," Terry said. "(Collins Hill) did a good job of attacking us on the dribble and was patient with its offense. We chased them all night defensively."
After the slow shooting start, the Eagles put up much better numbers in the third, going 6-for-10 from the floor. Buck led the charge in the third with eight points while Jordan Ulm, who finished with 12 points and three boards, put in seven.
The Eagles extended the lead to 28-20 to cap off a 16-0 run when the Broncos responded with a 6-0 spurt of their own to get within a field goal at 28-26.
But the Eagles regained control by finishing out the third with a 6-2 run, building the lead back up to seven at 35-28 off a bucket by Julianne Bayer. Bayer finished with eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Brookwood fought back in the fourth and got as close as two points at 40-38 with 3:40 left and within three at 46-43 with 1:20 remaining, but the Eagles found their way to the free-throw line and closed out the win by hitting 5 of 7 in the final 54 seconds. Collins Hill finished the night by hitting 16 of 22 shots from the charity stripe.
Collins Hill guard Singleton led all scorers with 14 points, added six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Courtney Gardner scored 14 to lead Brookwood, including five rebounds, while Rebecca Walker finished with 11 points.
"Our goal is to improve every game," Wild said. "No game will be easy but we want our effort to be there, especially in January and February. Tonight boiled down to effort and how hard we wanted to play."