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Basketball: North Forsyth girls shut down Parkview in first round

 
POSTED: February 18, 2017 12:28 a.m.
Lily McGregor Photography/

North Forsyth’s Cassie Markle, back, and Amber Jones (10) battle for possession of a loose ball Friday against Parkview.

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After making it to at least the quarterfinals in each of the past three state tournaments, Parkview’s girls are going home early after North Forsyth dominated them 45-26 in the first round on Friday night.

The Lady Raiders (21-7) came into this game playing well, winning four of their last five games to end the season, the only loss was by one point in the region championship against Lambert.

North held Parkview (13-16) to just seven points in the first half, on their way to a 17-7 halftime lead.

The 26 points that North allowed was their fifth-best defensive performance of the season. They had 13 steals on Parkview’s 16 turnovers and held them to 26 percent from the field.

“I thought defensively we were really good,” North head coach Eric Herrick said. “We held them to four points in the first quarter, three points in the second quarter, so I felt pretty good at halftime the way were defending. The effort was great, we were rebounding the heck out of the basketball, then in the second half we finally got some shots to fall and we pulled away.”

The Raiders’ 3-point shooting was key in this victory. They went 6-for-27 from downtown, compared to just 3-for-23 for the Panthers.

“They were playing a zone,” North junior Amber Jones said. “And it’s easier to get shots off when they’re playing zone rather than playing man.”

And the majority of those 3s came from Jones, who led the Raiders with 12 points and went 4-for-11 from 3. Cassie Markle was second for the Raiders with nine points while also pulling down seven rebounds.

This win marks the fifth time in the last six years that the Raiders have made it to the second round of the state tournament.

And in the second round they will likely have to travel to Powder Springs to face McEachern, the No. 1 seed from Region 3-7A and three-time defending state champion.

“A lot of people are picking them to win the state championship, but we wanna go over there and shock the world,” Herrick said. “They’re a good basketball team. They’re loaded with division-one basketball players, but like I told our kids, the pressure is on them. Let’s go over there, play loose, have some fun, and see if we can’t sneak one away from them.”

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