Mountain View girls headed to state for first time

SUWANEE -- As Mountain View players jumped for joy, a few of the Mill Creek girls burst into tears.

Mountain View, a fourth-year school, is headed to the state basketball tournament for the first time. Mill Creek is done for the season, ending a seven-year streak of making at least the Sweet 16 in the state tourney.

Aneysa Williams scored off a feed from Kelsey Hutchins with 44 seconds remaining and Mountain View took advantage of its lack of second-half fouls to hang on for a 52-51 victory Tuesday night in the quarterfinals of the Region 7-AAAAAA tournament at Peachtree Ridge.

Having been whistled for just two fouls in the second half, the Bears committed four in the final seconds without having to worry about sending Mill Creek to the foul line. The Hawks got the ball out of bounds with just under a second to play, but a final shot fell short.

"I've done that before, but never with so many fouls to give," Mountain View coach Jackie Lindquist said.

Mountain View (17-8) shot 32 free throws in the game, while Mill Creek (13-13) attempted just 10.

"At one point, they called 13 straight fouls on us," Mill Creek coach Ashley Phillips said. "That tells you a lot."

Mill Creek's lack of free throws and Mountain View's pressure defense were the difference as the Hawks fell short of the state tournament for just the second time in school history.

"Our press worked very well against them," Lindquist said. "They couldn't beat it when it counted. We were faster."

Hutchins, one of just two Mountain View seniors who started, had 10 of her 12 points in the fourth quarter, while sophomore Iceis Walker scored all of her team-best 13 points in the first half. Arianna Williams scored 10 and fellow sophomore Aneysa Williams finished with nine.

The Bears will have to play powerful Norcross on Thursday night at Mill Creek in the region semifinals, but they were relishing the victory over Mill Creek rather than looking ahead.

"I've very proud of them," Lindquist said. "We've come a long way, but we are still a very young team.

Mountain View used eight players against Mill Creek. Four were sophomores and one a freshman.

Nadiya Miller, one of Mill Creek's four seniors, scored a game-high 18 points and hit five 3-pointers. Kathleen Haxton and Meredith Schulte each scored nine points, while Shannon McCrosson had seven assists.

No. 4 seed Mill Creek used an 8-0 run to go up 35-30 late in the third quarter, but No. 5-seeded Mountain View then scored eight straight itself and the fourth quarter went back and forth.

India Dillard scored four straight points and the Hawks led with 59 seconds to play. But Aneysa Williams got loose to put the Bears back ahead and set up the unusual final 43 seconds as Mountain View committed four fouls without penalty and each team turned the ball over once.

Mountain View defeated Mill Creek 45-40 in overtime on Friday to end the regular season 8-8 in the region to 9-7 for the Hawks and the Bears followed that up with their most significant victory yet.

"When we beat Mill Creek last season, that was our biggest win to that point," Lindquist said. "This certainly tops that."

"We're not used to this," Phillips said of the early end to the Mill Creek season. "I feel like there should be another game to get ready for."

North Gwinnett girls 69, Peachtree Ridge 19

Baylee Rexing was 6-for-7 from behind the arc to lead North Gwinnett's blistering 3-point shooting and the Bulldogs (23-1) routed host Peachtree Ridge 69-19 in the Region 7-AAAAAA quarterfinals.

North, which lost a coin flip for the No. 1 seed after tying Norcross for first place, led the seventh-seeded Lions 24-6 after one quarter, 41-10 at halftime and 62-14 going into the final quarter.

The Bulldogs made 12 of 21 3-point attempts and shot 53 percent overall.

Lexie Brown had 15 points, five assists and five steals for North. Joshlyn Belcher scored 13, hitting 3 of 5 3-pointers.

Peachtree Ridge (6-19) got eight points from Lorrie Cruse. Melissa Turvy scored six.