HOSCHTON --A week earlier, the Norcross boys beat Collins Hill by three points. They beat the Eagles by seven last month.
But the Blue Devils took their play to another level in Friday's Region 7-AAAAAA Tournament semifinals, putting together their best basketball game of the season in a 90-50 rout of Collins Hill. The victory sets up a matchup with Peachtree Ridge today at 7 p.m. in the region finals at Mill Creek.
Brandon Goodwin scored a game-high 25 points to lead five double-figure scorers and also had seven assists for the Blue Devils (21-6), who won their 11th straight game.
"I thought we got on the bus today with the right attitude," Norcross boys coach Jesse McMillan said. "We talked the last couple of days about doors to open up to give yourself better opportunities to win championships and I thought we got on the bus with a great attitude. It definitely showed on the floor. I thought we adjusted to the way the game was being called to let it be a little more physical. Defensively we met all our goals. I'm super pleased.
"We talked about playing a complete game for four quarters. We've had spurts where we've looked really good and spurts where we haven't. I couldn't ask for a better time for them to play a complete game. It was definitely our best game of the year."
Norcross led just 18-13 after a quarter and opened up a substantial lead three minutes into the second quarter when Collins Hill big man Johncarlos Reyes went to the bench for a rest. With Reyes, who had four of his five blocks early, sitting down, the Blue Devils turned a 22-18 margin into a 33-18 lead in less than a minute.
The Eagles (17-10) never got closer than 13 the rest of the way. Norcross made 10 of 17 field goals (58.8 percent) in the second quarter and led 46-29 at halftime.
Instead of relaxing with the lead, the Blue Devils kept coming with a 13-1 run to start the third quarter. Collins Hill struggled against their zone and had just one field goal in the third quarter.
"We came out of locker room and said it's 0-0, it's a new game," Goodwin said. "We were going to play as hard as the first quarter, the second quarter. We kept it going because Collins Hill is full of elite players. We played harder in the second half I think."
Goodwin was the high scorer, but his teammates backed him up well.
Andre Chatfield had 13 points, Lorenzo Carter had 12 points and 10 rebounds and Terrance O'Donohue had 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. Khalen Pinkett added five assists and Ricky Madison scored 11 off the bench.
"It was our best game," Goodwin said. "Offensively and defensively, we've come a long way. Earlier in the season we beat this team by three, by seven. Now we beat them by 40."
Devin Mitchell led Collins Hill with 14 points and Darius Joell scored 13. The Eagles play Meadowcreek today at 3:30 p.m. for third place.
Peachtree Ridge boys 77, Meadowcreek 66
Seventh-seeded Meadowcreek never quit, but Peachtree Ridge's big first-half lead held for a 77-66 victory in Friday night's first semifinal.
The Lions led 23-8 after a quarter and went up by as many as 25 points in the second quarter. They were up by 20 at halftime.
But Don Smith (15 points) made three of his five 3-pointers in the third quarter and a 24-12 Mustang edge in the third quarter made a game of it down the stretch.
Meadowcreek (9-18) got as close as six points twice early in the fourth quarter before Peachtree Ridge (19-8) finished off the victory. A three-point play by Amir Warnock with 2:28 left pushed the lead to 70-58 and it never dwindled to single digits again.
Jordan Capps led the Lions with 24 points and Warnock scored 17. Edwin Efezokhae (11 points) and Aaron Augustin (10 points) also reached double figures.
Meadowcreek also got 15 points from Terrance Snelling, 12 from Austin Robinson and 11 from Adrian Hicks.