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North girls top Mill Creek for 11th straight win

Staff Photo: John Bohn Mill Creek's Alesia Fagin (25) works the ball with assistance from teammate India Dillard (33) in taking North Gwinnett's Ariel Johnson (10) out of the play during Tuesday's game.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Mill Creek's Alesia Fagin (25) works the ball with assistance from teammate India Dillard (33) in taking North Gwinnett's Ariel Johnson (10) out of the play during Tuesday's game.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Mill Creek's Jasmine Carter (32) drives the ball while closely covered by North Gwinnett's Lexi Brown (4) during the second period of Tuesday's game.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn North Gwinnett's Peyton Whitted (25), left, attempts to steal the ball from Mill Creek's Alesia Fagin (25) during the third period of Tuesday's game.

HOSCHTON -- Three players produce most of the North Gwinnett girls' points. That isn't likely to change.

But to reach their goals this basketball season, the Bulldogs need other players to step up in key moments. Freshman Alyssa Munlyn was the player Tuesday night at Mill Creek.

With the host Hawks hanging close, Munlyn scored five straight points behind two offensive cutbacks and turned a lead that shrank back to single digits up to 14 points. From there, seventh-ranked North never let Mill Creek any closer on its way to an 11th straight win, 55-41.

"It's nice to see that, especially since (Munlyn's) a freshman," North girls coach Bryan Sellers said. "Having her step up is going to give us added depth down the road. It's big for a freshman to step up because this is one of the biggest games we've played."

North (12-1, 5-0 Region 7-AAAAA) played tough opposition in its non-region schedule, but there was a great emphasis on the matchup with Mill Creek. It was not only a region game, but outside of last season the Bulldogs hadn't had much luck against the Hawks (11-5, 3-2).

"I've been at North six seasons and we didn't beat (Mill Creek) until last year," Sellers said.

North forced nine first-quarter turnovers and went on a big 10-2 run in the second quarter, opening a lead as large as 14 points. Mill Creek fought back to within nine points at halftime and kept charging in the third quarter.

A three-point play by the Hawks' India Dillard (14 points, 14 rebounds) cut the lead back to nine points late in the third quarter when Munlyn scored her five straight points. Mill Creek, which also got 11 points from Jasmine Carter and 10 points from Nadiya Miller, never recovered.

North did a nice job defensively against Mill Creek's 3-point shooting. The Hawks made only 4 of 11 shots from long range after making 13 of 26 in last Friday's win over Peachtree Ridge.

"We really wanted to get out there and limit how many 3-pointers they shot," Sellers said. "They can get hot out there. It seemed like in our scouting report that every girl was a shooter."

Lexie Brown scored 22 points with six rebounds, six assists and six steals to lead the Bulldogs, who also got 16 points from Peyton Whitted and eight points from Ariel Johnson. Alexis Munlyn grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.