Parkview girls complete unbeaten regular season

LILBURN -- Tony Watkins has won a lot of basketball games in his long career coaching boys and girls teams, but he'd never had an unbeaten regular season.

Now he has.

"Going unbeaten wasn't a goal, but it's quite an accomplishment," Watkins said. "It isn't easy to do. In 32 or 33 years of coaching, I'd never done it."

The Parkview girls had already locked up the No. 1 seed for the Region 8-AAAA tournament, but they needed a second win over rival Brookwood to go into the postseason unbeaten.

The No. 3-ranked Panthers (25-0, 16-0) did just that on senior night at Parkview, defeating the visiting Broncos 58-40 behind the hot shooting of junior point guard Marissa Mandeldove and their usual team-first play.

Mandeldove hit a career-best six 3-pointers and scored 20 points as Parkview continued its domination of 8-AAAAA. No region team came within 10 points of the Panthers during the regular season and just two of the Panthers' non-region victims did.

Watkins, who passed 600 career victories this season, took over the proud Parkview girls program this season after Mike McCoy moved to Mississippi and the Panthers turned in a second unbeaten regular season in three years despite having just three seniors.

"We have great chemistry," said Watkins, who has eight players averaging between six and 12 points. "They all love each other and it really doesn't matter to them who gets the most points. We have a lot of players with equal ability and it is someone different every game."

It was the 5-foot-3 Mandeldove's turn to step up offensively this time. She hit her first four 3-point attempts in the opening quarter and that set the tone for the game.

Brookwood (13-11, 11-4) is the defending region champion and defeated Parkivew in two of three meetings a year ago.

"We talked about an unbeaten season and it was feels great to do it against Brookwood," Mandeldove said. "They are our rival and we didn't want what happened last year to happen again."

Erika Joseph, who has signed with Western Carolina, had 10 points and nine rebounds for Parkview. Lipscomb recruit Helena Pouengue scored seven points, as did sophomore Ashlea Logan. Vicky Harris, a 6-foot-1 freshman, had six points and nine rebounds.

Brookwood was down just 20-15 at the end of the first quarter, despite Parkview hitting its first five 3-point attempts. But the Panthers, who have won their games by an average of 25 points, started the second quarter on a 12-0 run and led 36-19 at halftime.

Mandeldove had 15 points on five 3-pointers in the first half. Logan, who had seven points in the second quarter, and Makenna Pouengue also connect from behind the arc in the opening half.

Courtney Gardner had 17 points and 10 rebounds for Brookwood, which was outscored just 22-21 in the second half. Rebecca Walker had 14 points and Courtney Erickson scored seven.

Watkins' best previous season came in 1997, when his Woodward Academy boys team went into the state tournament with a 25-1 record and lost in the Class AAA semifinals.

The Parkview girls won a state title under McCoy in 2003 and went into the state tournament unbeaten in 2010. But the Panthers were upset by Marietta on a buzzer-beating shot in the first round.

Now Parkview must take care of business in the region tournament at Shiloh next week and hope there will be no repeat of that disappointing ending two years ago. The Panthers will open against the winner of Monday's play-in game between Shiloh and Grayson next Tuesday.

Brookwood boys 66, Parkview 60

Anthony Lewis scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half and the Brookwood boys (5-19, 2-13) hit their free throws late for a 66-60 victory over host Parkview (5-20, 4-12).

Lewis, who had seven rebounds, hit a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer and two more in the fourth quarter, when he scored 11 points. Malcolm Hannah had 16 points for the Broncos and Deion Dedeaux, who was 5-for-6 at the foul line late, had seven assists and three steals.

Jordan Coleman hit a trio of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and scored 17 points for Parkview. Andre Chatfield had 14 points, going 8-for-8 at the foul line, and T.J. Thomas scored 12.

Parkview is the No. 7 seed for the Region 8-AAAAA tournament and Brookwood will play Grayson in the play-in game on Monday at Shiloh.

Brookwood led 12-6 at the end of the first quarter before Parkview went on a 14-2 run and was up 26-24 at halftime.

Parkview led by as many as six points in the third quarter, but Brookwood took a six-point lead with two minutes and was 8-for-10 at the foul line down the stretch.