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Girls basketball: South falls to No. 5 Alpharetta in region semis
Smith leads Lady Raiders with 18 points
sports-SfAlph1-websmall JP
South Forsyth guard Rachel Myers contests a shot by Alpharettas Lauren Brown in the Region 6-AAAAAA tournament semifinals on Friday at Alpharetta High School. - photo by Jared Putnam

ALPHARETTA— Alpharetta’s girls proved why they are the No. 1 seed in the Region 6-AAAAAA tournament.

The Lady Raiders handed No. 4 seed South Forsyth its second-worst loss of the season, 63-38, in the tournament semifinals on Friday at Alpharetta High School.

"You tell your kids to hold their heads high," South head coach Keith Gravitt said. "[Alpharetta] came out hot and [was] shooting the ball well in the first half. We didn’t do a good job on the boards and we want to look at that and see how we can improve and take the next step as an individual player and as a team.

"We still have ballgames to play, so we’re looking at areas that we can improve."

Kylee Smith led the Lady Raiders with 18 points, while Lauren Brown (15) and Nicole King (12) combined for 27. South’s Sarah Myers and Ally Welch both scored 10 points.

Alpharetta (23-4) jumped out to a 19-7 lead at the end of the first quarter before cruising to a 35-14 halftime advantage.

Brown scored 13 of her 15 points in the first half, including three 3-pointers.

The Lady War Eagles (19-8) had open looks from beyond the arc for most of the night against the 2-3 zone defense, but couldn’t find their stroke and finished 1-for-13.

The third quarter was much of the same as Alpharetta outscored South 18-8 to end the period to take a 53-22 advantage. The final quarter was shortened to six minutes since South trailed by more than 30 and Alpharetta rested its starters for the final three minutes.

South forced the Lady Raiders into seven turnovers after the starters left the game and scored 12 points in the final 2:54, but it wasn’t enough to threaten.

"They had a good night shooting and didn’t force us into any bad shots," Gravitt said. "We got a lot of wide-open looks, but they didn’t go in. We might could’ve been more patient, I believe. ... We weren’t very physical in the first half and maybe those open looks [Alpharetta] had wouldn’t have been so easy [if we had played physical]."