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Parkview girls claim fifth region title in six years

SNELLVILLE -- Their second straight region championship and fifth in six years secure, the unbeaten Parkview girls are now ready for their real challenge.

The Panthers have won their 28 games by an average of 37 points. It won't be that easy in the state tournament.

"It gets tougher from here on, but I think we're playing our best basketball and that's what you want at this time of year," Parkview coach Tony Watkins said.

Archer was the only team to come within 22 points of the Panthers in the regular season, but the Tigers couldn't give Parkview much of a test in the Region 8-AAAAAA championship game Saturday night at South Gwinnett.

Vicki Harris had a big game inside and Parkview steadily pulled away for a 57-23 victory thanks to its usual combination of stifling defense and well-spread offense.

Harris, a 6-foot-3 sophomore, had 17 points and eight rebounds, but nine other players also scored for the Panthers.

"With our depth, I always say we play the first half to get to the second half," Watkins said. "We don't have a great player, but we've got a lot of really good ones."

Archer (19-9) rallied to give Parkview its only close game on Jan. 29, losing 53-49. But Parkview took charge and never let up this time.

Now it's on to the state tournament, which begins Tuesday. Parkview will host Wheeler, the No. 4 seed from Region 5, while Archer plays that region's third-place team, Etowah, at home.

Parkview was unbeaten going into the state tournament last year and made it to the quarterfinals. The Panthers were also unbeaten in 2010 going in, but were upset in the first round that year.

A plus for Parkview this year will be the presence of both Harris and 6-foot-3 senior Mia Marshall inside to go with their outside speed. Marshall, who has signed with Appalachian State, missed last year after knee surgery.

Marshall had six points, eight rebounds and three assists against Archer in a strong all-around game as the Panthers controlled the boards while also forcing more than 20 turnovers.

Freshman wing Raven Johnson scored seven points for Parkview off the bench, while senior point guard Marissa Mandeldove had six points and four assists, and junior wing Genesis Perrymond added six points and five rebounds.

Archer had just five baskets in the game, three from behind the arc. Still, it looked like it might be competitive in the first quarter.

Parkview had an 11-0 run midway in the quarter, but sophomore standout Madison Newby hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to draw Archer within 20-11 going into the second quarter.

Parkview then took complete charge, though. Perrymond hit her two 3-pointers and Makenna Pouengue hit one early in the second quarter and the Panthers went into halftime on a 10-2 run to lead 43-16.

Harris had 13 points and six rebounds in the first half and the Panthers forced 14 turnovers while committing just six themselves. Archer got 19 free throws in the first half, but made just 10.

Then things got worse for the Tigers offensively as leading scorer Newby struggled after being poked in the eye late in the second quarter.

Archer trailed 53-23 going into the shortened fourth quarter and didn't manage another point. Newby and Morgan Jackson led the Tigers with six points each.

Central Gwinnett 49, Brookwood 43

Alexandra Frazier scored 28 points as Central Gwinnett avenged two regular-season losses to Brookwood and claimed the No. 3 seed from Region 8-AAAAAA for the state tournament with a 49-43 victory.

Frazier, a 5-foot-8 sophomore averaging 15 points per game, hit a trio of 3-pointers and scored 14 of Central's 19 points in the first quarter as the Black Knights (17-10) got off to a hot start.

But Brookwood (16-12) held Central to two points in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 21-18 at intermission. The Black Knights led 35-30 after three quarters and held on late as Frazier scored seven fourth-quarter points.

Rebecca Walkers had 15 points for Brookwood and Courtney Gardner scored 14.

Carol Reynolds at a key late basket for Central and finished with 11 rebounds to go with seven points. Lexus Travis grabbed nine rebounds, while Briana McGee scored seven points.

Frazier had 29 points in a game earlier this season and scored 21 points in Central's semifinal loss to Archer.

Central will play at the No. 2 team from Region 5-AAAAAA on Tuesday in the first round of the state tournament, while Brookwood has to travel to the face the Region 5-AAAAAA champion.