Mill Creek gives Collins Hill boys first region loss

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SUWANEE -- Collins Hill's boys came into Friday's game with Mill Creek sporting a perfect 4-0 record in Region 7-AAAAAA, all of which had been on the road.

Playing at home for the first time in nearly a month, Collins Hill was looking to extend that unbeaten streak, but the Hawks' Trevon Shaw had different plans.

Shaw's 3-pointer at the buzzer lifted Mill Creek (8-3, 3-3) to a 56-53 win over Collins Hill, giving the Eagles (7-3, 4-1) their first region loss.

"We had a good week of practice and got better at having practice," Mill Creek head coach Chad Rogers said. "We brought that to the floor tonight. I'm proud of the collective effort we had as a team. That was a real big win and we needed it."

Shaw's game-winning shot capped off an intense second half, one that saw Mill Creek lead by as many as nine points in the third period only to have the Eagles take a four-point lead early in the fourth.

That lead for Collins Hill came from the hands of Devin Mitchell, who led all players with 24 points. Down 40-38 early in the fourth, Mitchell put Collins Hill up by two at 42-40 after completing a four-point play.

On the ensuing possession, Mitchell took a feed from Awbrey Rucker for a 44-40 edge with 6:51 remaining, but the Mill Creek defense stepped up its pace and held Collins Hill scoreless for the next 5:12.

That scoreless streak allowed Mill Creek to regain the lead at 48-44 with 2:28 left with an 8-0 run.

However, Collins Hill bounced back, getting two big free throws from Johncarlos Reyes with 1:39 to go to cut the margin to 44-42.

Mill Creek answered 34 seconds later with two free throws from Elijah Bryant to back up by four, but a driving layup from Darius Joell brought the Eagles back to within two with 56 seconds left.

Eric Ritland of Mill Creek converted the one and one free throws on the ensuing possession for a 52-48 lead with 53 seconds left, but Mitchell drained a 3-pointer with 34 seconds remaining to get the Eagles within one at 52-51.

Shaw would then go to the line for Mill Creek and hit the front end of the double bonus but missed the second, allowing the Eagles to tie the score at 53-53 with 14.4 seconds left when Mitchell fed Grant McDonald for a shot in the lane.

McDonald hit the shot and was fouled, but his free throw missed, leaving the score tied at 53-53.

After a series of time outs called by both coaches, Mill Creek's Bryant finally threw the ball in bounds with four seconds left to Shaw.

Shaw moved to his left on a screen by Davion Clark and swished in the shot as moments before the buzzer sounded.

"Give Mill Creek credit, they came out and hit us in the mouth," Collins Hill head coach Eric Nathan said. "That was a big-time shot Shaw hit there at the end."

Shaw ended the game with 21 points for Mill Creek, while Bryant finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and three assists. Clark also chipped in with eight points and four boards.

McDonald was a big part of the second-half surge for Collins Hill with 11 points, all coming in the final two periods, including a nine-point outburst in the third quarter that helped Collins Hill close out the third period with a 10-0 run.

Collins Hill opened the game with a 5-0 spurt but Mill Creek quickly found an answer to the Eagles' zone defense and built a 17-9 lead by the end of the first.

The Eagles slowly inched back in the second period, getting five points each from Mitchell and Rucker as the Eagles trailed 24-19 at the break.

Mill Creek would build a 37-28 lead late in the third before McDonald and Mitchell brought the Eagles back in the lead by period's end with a 10-0 run.

Mill Creek girls 66, Collins Hill 33

Mill Creek improved to 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the region as the Hawks jumped to an early lead and kept Collins Hill at arm's length for a 60-33 win over the Eagles.

Meredith Schulte led Mill Creek with 14 points, while Nadiya Miller followed with 11 points. Kathleen Haxton also helped with eight points.

Collins Hill, which trailed 20-5 at the end of the first, was led by 10 points from Julianne Bayer and nine points from Nykeria Smith.