Staff Photo: John Bohn North Gwinnett's Joshlyn Belcher (15) battles Duluth's Taylor Auzenne (23) for a fourth period rebound during a Region 7-AAAAAA girls basketball tournament game played at Mill Creek on Thursday. North Gwinnett defeated Duluth 64-38.
HOSCHTON -- With her father in the stands watching, Lexie Brown put on quite a show to lead North Gwinnett to a convincing 64-38 win over Duluth in the semifinals of the Region 7-AAAAAA girls' tournament at Mill Creek.
Dee Brown, the former NBA player and now an assistant coach with the Detroit Pistons, must have been proud as the senior guard connected on seven 3-pointers, including five in the first half, to break open a tight game and finished with a season-high 30 points.
"Lexie came out and shot the ball well," said North head coach Bryan Sellers. "Her dad was in town during the All-Star break and she put on a quite a show. But we all shot the ball well tonight."
North (24-1) moves into Saturday's championship game and will take on Norcross.
North and Duluth traded the lead four times in the first quarter before the Bulldogs took a 15-13 advantage heading to the second quarter.
From there, it was all North as the Bulldogs outscored Duluth 21-8 and took a 36-21 lead into halftime -- thanks primarily to Brown.
North shot the three-ball well and hit on eight total in the first half to gain the 15-point lead at the break.
North didn't slow down in the third quarter as the Bulldogs outscored Duluth 19-7 and headed to the fourth quarter totally in command with a 55-28 lead.
North finished the game with 11 three-pointers.
"We shot the three real well against Peachtree Ridge in our last game," said Sellers. "Tonight, it just continued with Lexie, Baylee (Rexing) and Joshlyn (Belcher) and it's just part of their repertoire. When (Duluth) tried to help out on defense, it left some things open and we knocked down the shots. So hopefully we'll continue that streak going into the championship game on Saturday."
Along with Brown's seven, Rexing and Belcher each hit a pair for North.
Rexing and Belcher also each finished with eight points in the game.
Peyton Whitted also added eight points for the Bulldogs, who will meet Norcross for the region title on Saturday.
Brown also handed out five assists and pulled down six rebounds for North.
Rexing and Whitted each also had five assists for the Bulldogs.
Duluth (18-9), which will play again next week in the state tournament, was led by Taylor Auzenne's 11 points while Joi Jones had 10.
Katie Powell, Duluth's leading scorer, didn't play the majority of the second half and finished with nine points and seven rebounds for the Wildcats.