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No. 1 Norcross girls roll past Bears in semis

Staff Photo: John Bohn Norcross' Diamond DeShields (22) is fouled by Mountain View's Arianna Williams (15) during the second period of a Region 7-AAAAAA girls basketball tournament game played at Mill Creek on Thursday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Norcross' Diamond DeShields (22) is fouled by Mountain View's Arianna Williams (15) during the second period of a Region 7-AAAAAA girls basketball tournament game played at Mill Creek on Thursday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Norcross' Kolby Meeks (20) guards Mountain View's Arianna Williams (15) during the second period of a Region 7-AAAAAA girls basketball tournament game played at Mill Creek on Thursday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Norcross' Diamond DeShields (22) shoots over Mountain View's Iceis Walker (24) during the first period of a Region 7-AAAAAA girls basketball tournament game played at Mill Creek on Thursday.

HOSCHTON -- Just like the first semifinal, the second semifinal of the Region 7-AAAAAA girls' basketball tournament was over early as No. 1 seed Norcross raced past No. 5 seed Mountain View 66-46.

With the win, Norcross (23-4) will face No. 2 seed North Gwinnett, which was a 64-38 winner over No. 3 seed Duluth in the first game of the night.

"It was a good win and I thought we executed and recognized well," Norcross head coach Angie Hembree said. "We're looking forward to a tight game (with North) and it will probably come down to the end with one team making a play."

The two teams shared the region title with 15-1 region records and Norcross gained the top seed via a coin flip.

Norcross and North met twice in a nine-day span back in the regular season with the Bulldogs winning 64-49 on Jan. 15 and the Blue Devils taking the Jan. 23 game by a 46-29 score.

It was North's only loss of the regular season.

Norcross was back at full strength as senior Diamond DeShields returned to action after a two-game absence to rest a nagging foot injury and led the Blue Devils with 23 points.

DeShields got off to a fast start by scoring the game's first points on a three-pointer and finished with eight in the opening quarter as the Blue Devils built a 17-8 advantage.

DeShields continued to impress with 10 points in the second quarter as Norcross continued to add on and took a 38-17 lead at the half.

Norcross upped the margin to 55-29 after three quarters as DeShields got her final five points of the game before the Blue Devils emptied the bench for the final quarter.

However, Mountain View could never draw closer than 20 points in the fourth quarter.

DeShields hit a pair of three-pointers, went 5-for-6 from the free throw line, grabbed seven rebounds and dished out two assists.

"It was just precautionary having her sit out," said Hembree. "Nothing more than that and we're glad she's back."

Norcross also got 17 points and eight rebounds from Shayla Cooper, who was solid inside for the Blue Devils.

Mountain View (17-9) was led by Iceis Walker's 13 points while Bria Virgil had 11 points, including three treys, and added four rebounds and a pair of assists.