North Forsyth lost to Brookwood on Tuesday, 44-41, and were eliminated from the Class 7A state tournament.
The loss comes in the quarterfinals of the playoffs and after two 20-plus margins of victory in the first two rounds.
North, the Region 6-7A champion, finished 23-5 on the season and allowed only 38 points on average to opponents this season.
And they did all that without a senior on their roster.
“Everybody counted us out in the beginning,” North head coach Brad Kudlas said. “For these girls to step up and do what they’ve done is amazing. I’m so proud of them. I hope they use this as motivation to work harder and get better over the summer.”
The game was back and forth the entire time. North went 3 of 3 from the 3-point line to start the game and quickly took a 11-5 lead.
However, the game was tied at the end of the first quarter, and the second half ended with Brookwood ahead by one point. North managed to tie the game back at 32 to end the third.
North started the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run.
That 40-32 lead ended up being the largest lead for either team during the game. Down eight, Brookwood called a timeout with 3:32 left in the game and did not let the Raiders score another field goal for the rest of the game.
The Broncos ended the game on a 12-1 run. North struggled at the free-throw line and had some open looks late in the fourth quarter, but none of the shots fell.
North had the ball down three with 18 seconds left. After a failed 3, a Brookwood defender tapped the ball loose and it was recovered by Anna Gliatta.
She went up for a layup attempt but came up short. Brookwood secured the rebound and let the time run off the clock.
“We played solid defense,” Kudlas said. “We were right there. I think we got outrebounded pretty bad, but a couple shots fall our way and this stings less.”
Gliatta led the Raiders with 19 points scored, shooting 8 of 12 from the field. Maddie Erickson kept Brookwood outside of the paint with her six blocked shots. She also had a game-high 10 rebounds.
Haelim Adle led with five assists and also scored five points and rebounded the basketball seven times.
With five juniors and eight sophomores making up North’s roster, Kudlas said that the future is whatever his team wants to make of it.
“They have seen what it is going to take,” Kudlas said. “Hopefully this shows them how good we really can be. We could definitely be right back at this game a year from now.”