Brookwood broke a 6-all tie early in the first quarter with a 3-pointer by Courtney Gardner and a pair of free throws by Rebecca Walker. But after a timeout called by Cherokee coach Matt Cates, the Lady Warriors quickly took control and climbed back on top with a 10-1 run.
“We just slowed it down a little bit,” Cates said. “The game started coming together for us better.”
Brookwood stuck close for the first quarter — trailing just 16-13 — before the Lady Warriors (28-1) turned up the defensive pressure. Brookwood was held to just six points in the second quarter, and Cherokee pulled away behind the shooting of Aunesha Williams.
The junior scored 13 of her team-leading 18 points in the first half as Cherokee took a 30-19 advantage.
The Lady Warriors essentially put the game away in the third quarter with a 45-30 lead after three.
Morgan Darby finished the game with 13 points and Byers had 10.
Cates praised the defensive effort by his players.
“We put good pressure on the ball and picked up turnovers that led to easy points,” he said. “That was big for us.”
Up next for the Lady Warriors will be Region 6AAAAAA runner-up North Forsyth, which they will host Friday at 6 p.m.
Cates said North Forsyth is a well-coached, disciplined team.
“It will be a huge test for us,” he said. “It should be a good game.”
The Woodstock girls saw their season end after a setback at home against Central Gwinnett. The 64-49 loss was a let-down for the Lady Wolverines, who nearly upset Cherokee for the Region 5AAAAAA title last Saturday.
Central Gwinnett relied on zone defense, despite trailing 26-22 at the half.
The Lady Black Knights’ Alexandra Frazer led all scorers with 27 points, going 6-for-8 at the free-throw line. She also had eight rebounds and four assists.
Clara Young and Makensie Block each scored 14 points for Woodstock, while Brianna Lakes added 13.
The Sequoyah boys were also on the losing end Tuesday night, falling 79-57 at Miller Grove in the first round of the Class AAAAA state tournament.
The Chiefs trailed 33-27 at the half, but Miller Grove turned up the pressure and put up 28 points in the third to pull away.
Coach Jeremy Adams said his team started off well and competed hard throughout the game.
“Obviously, we would have liked the win,” he said. “We wish we could have won the region and played (Miller Grove) two weeks later, but it didn’t happen. Would have been nice to start off at home, but it didn’t go that way for us.”
Brandon Ingleton scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Dalton Satterfield added 16 points and Blaine White scored eight.
Sequoyah finished the season 21-8.