Staff Photo: John Bohn Five Forks Middle School's Amir Butcher (22) lines up a shot while covered by Shiloh MIddle School's Malik Chandler (52) during the first quarter of a Gwinnett County Middle School Eastern Division basketball tournament game Tuesday.
LILBURN -- Parkview High School has one of the state's top girls basketball teams. If Tuesday's Gwinnett County Middle School basketball tournament is any indication, the Panthers will have more talent flowing through the school.
Trickum Middle School, a feeder school to Parkview, got 10 points from Autmnn Sizemore and Kristi Derouen as the Tigers defeated Shiloh 38-28 in the Eastern Division finals. The win secured the second Eastern Division title in three years for the Tigers and avenged last year's championship loss to Shiloh.
"I told them, y'all haven't had a game where you faced adversity," Trickum coach Tim Yates said. "They did tonight and came through."
Five Forks' defense came up with a big defensive stand in the boys game, holding off Shiloh for the 58-57 victory.
"It was a well fought game against them both times," Five Forks coach Michael Linton said.
As the Eastern Division champions, Trickum and Five Forks advance to the finals of the Gwinnett County championship. Trickum will play Creekland at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, while Five Forks will take on Hull at 7 p.m. Both games will be played at Parkview.
"They have a great player and a good team," Linton said of Hull. "We're looking forward to the challenge."
Five Forks (12-3) got a big test on Tuesday. The Broncos, who are assisted by Eric Morrow, defeated Shiloh 64-62 during the regular season and it was another tight game in the playoffs.
Shiloh built a 25-21 lead going into halftime off Joshua Okogic's basket. Okogic was the game's leading scorer with 28 points, including 10 in the second quarter. He also had three blocks and seven rebounds.
Shiloh went on a 6-0 run late in the third quarter to take a 41-35 lead after Malik Chandler's basket. Chandler finished with 14 points.
But Five Forks came back with an 8-2 run to tie the game 43-43 going into the fourth quarter.
Five Forks' standout player Kendrew Wynn, who had 18 points, four blocks and six rebounds, went down with an ankle injury with 2:41 left in the game.
"My boys stepped up and said we got this," Linton said.
Micah Kinsey hit a pair of free throws and a jumper in the final minute to give Five Forks the lead. Wynn entered the game in the final minute and had a big block to help preserve the Broncos' win.
"They are such a great competitor," Linton said of Shiloh. "It's the old horse race, running to the end."
Amir Butcher led Five Forks with 22 points, Kinsey scored 12 and had four assists, while Michael Wilson added four and Da'Vonne Mills two.
Shiloh got points from Michael Stephens (seven), Justin Sylve (three), Perry Battle (three) and Chris Phillips (two).
Trickum (15-0) jumped out to a 6-0 lead to start the girls game and never looked back. The Tigers took a 16-5 lead at the end of the first quarter after a pair of assists by Dominique Leonidas to Kristi Derouen.
"They were pumped up. Our strategy is to jump on someone quick and get them down. That was big," Yates said.
Trickum built its biggest lead of the game to 21-6 with 3:20 left in the half on Emily Tompson's basket.
Shiloh scored the next eight points to get back in the game and trailed 23-14 at the half.
"Shiloh did a good job coming back," Yates said. "After that it was a war."
Trickum opened the third quarter with a pair of free throws by Kiersten Hunter and a layup by Leonidas to push its lead to 27-14.
Shiloh cut the lead to 10 late in the third quarter and nine in the final minute of the game, but could never get any closer.
It was a much closer game than the regular season matchup that Trickum won 42-9 over Shiloh.
"They made a lot of great adjustments," Yates said. "They played hard that's for sure. They left it on the floor."
Leonidas and Emily Thompson scored six points each, while Hunter and Tosin Ogunyale each had a basket.
Shiloh was led by Raven Johnson's 11 points. Kelsey Joseph and Emani Bell each scored seven points and LaShane Blue had three.
The following players were selected to the all-county Eastern Division team. For the girls team, Lesley Holbrook (Crews), Jasmine Fleetwood (Five Forks), Chandler Hall (McConnell), Raven Johnson (Shiloh), Kelsey Joseph (Shiloh), Jirah Simpkins (Sweetwater), Kristi Derouen (Trickum), Dominique Leonidas (Trickum), Autumnn Sizemore (Trickum) and Kiersten Hunter (Trickum).
For the boys team, Trevion Sconers (Bay Creek), Kendrew Wynn (Five Forks), Amir Butcher (Five Forks), DeAnthony Redding (Grace Snell), Dylan Singleton (McConnell), Nick Pallone (McConnell), Lavell Garrar (Richards), Joshua Okogic (Shiloh), Joshua Faulkner (Sweetwater) and Nikhil Patel (Trickum).