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Berkmar Boys, Girls Advance in Region 8-AAAAA Tournament

Girls beat Central Gwinnett; boys edge past Shiloh

Berkmar’s girls got 24 points from Kenisha Watkins and a double-double from Teanna Robinson in a 52-40 victory over Central Gwinnett in the Region 8-AAAAA tournament Wednesday at Parkview.

Robinson scored 12 points and pulled down 15 rebounds.

Later Wednesday, Berkmar’s boys also advanced in the tournament with a tight 62-57 win over Shiloh.

The Lady Patriots took advantage of their height advantage in the first half, as the 6-foot-4 Robinson had six points, eight rebounds and two blocks before picking up her third foul with 2:41 left in the half. Central took advantage, trimming a 22-15 deficit to 24-23 by halftime.

Central outscored Berkmar 8-6 in a slowed-down third period for a 31-30 lead, but Watkins heated up, scoring eight points in a 2:24 span that gave the Lady Patriots command of the game.

From there, it was Berkmar running out the clock and keeping the Lady Knights at bay.

"She [Watkins] has been our leader all year," said Berkmar head coach Todd McCutcheon. "She's our spark plug. When she's hot everyone else is excited. I am just as happy as I can be with all the adversity we've been through this year and they are still battling. It's amazing."

Berkmar will play Parkview on Friday night in the semifinals. The two teams split games during the regular season.

Shamicka Martin added 11 points for Berkmar (18-8). Central was led by Taja Latimore with 16 and Nia Hardy with 10.

Berkmar boys 62, Shiloh 57: Berkmar saw Shiloh come back from an 11-point deficit, but the Patriots (18-7) made the plays they needed in the final minutes to advance.

Shiloh (12-13) trailed 24-13 in the second quarter and 26-16 at halftime, but fought back to tie the game at 46-46 and then again at 55-55 with 1:39 left to play on Jordan Gaither’s basket.

Stedmon Lemons gave the Generals their only lead at 57-56 with less than a minute left, but Berkmar’s Yonel Brown made a basket for a 58-57 Patriots lead, then Ivan Holden scored on a steal and layup to make it 60-57 with nine seconds left.

When Shiloh missed a 3-pointer, Berkmar’s Devan Campbell was fouled with 3.1 seconds left and made both free throws to seal the victory.

Brown finished with 27 points, 22 of which came in the second half, as Berkmar advanced to face Central Gwinnett in Friday’s semifinals.

"I just knew I had to take over in the second half," said Brown. "We worked too hard to get here. I knew they were going to slack off some in the second half and I could take over."

Coach Greg Phillips was extremely proud of his two seniors. "They stepped up for us at the end, Ivan with that steal and Devan with two big free throws," said Phillips. "They [Shiloh] did a good job on everybody defensively. We turned to our two playmakers at the end and said win it for us and they did. We haven't beaten them in two and half years so it was nice to get the monkey off our back. It takes every single second and it took every single second tonight."

Also Wednesday:

Brookwood boys 66, Dacula 55: Brookwood jumped out early and held off Dacula.

The Broncos used a balanced offensive attack, led by Malcolm Hannah’s 18 points. Jerome Cole added 17, Michael Gouge 15 and Thomas Higginbotham 14.

With the win, Brookwood advances to the state tournament despite a 9-16 record.

South Gwinnett girls 59, Dacula 40: South Gwinnett trailed 14-11 after the first period, but made 13 free throws in the second quarter to take command of the game.

The Lady Comets built a 32-24 halftime lead, then coasted to the 19-point win.

Kiara Baker had 26 points, including 19 in the second half, to lead the Lady Comets. Samantha McCombs had nine points in the second period as South outscored Dacula 21-10 to take a big lead.

Dacula scored only six points in the third period, and South then cruised to its 16th victory of the season.

Bri Daniel led Dacula with 9 points. The Lady Falcons finish their season 5-21 while South improved to 16-10 and will play arch-rival and top-ranked Brookwood Friday in the region semifinals.

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