Knights' Adams gets first playoff win

WOODSTOCK -- With 11.9 seconds left and leading by the eventual final score, Central Gwinnett head coach Jason Adams called timeout.

As his team walked toward the visitors' bench at Woodstock High School, sophomore point guard Alexandra Frazier looked up at the scoreboard, smiled, looked at her coach and said "We got this, coach. We got this."

The Black Knights were up 64-49 in the Class AAAAAA first round playoff game and after the short timeout, they bled off the final seconds before Frazier tossed the ball toward an official and ran to celebrate with her teammates.

Central will play today's winner of Duluth and Alpharetta in the second round.

The playoff win was the first for Adams as a head basketball coach in his third try, one reason he wasn't ready to celebrate until the buzzer sounded.

"They were telling me on the bench, 'We got this, coach,'" Adams said. "We were up 15 with 30 seconds left and I was like, 'It's not over.'"

But Adams didn't reflect too much on the win from his eyes, opting for reward in the reaction of his players.

"I am just proud as heck of them," Adams said. "It feels good for the girls to advance."

And despite the final score, it wasn't easy for the Black Knights on the road.

Even knowing the outside shooting prowess of Woodstock, Central stuck with its zone defense, trusting its effect over four quarters.

"We just wanted to ride it though," said Adams, who hoped the Wolverines would be unfamiliar with a defense they rarely saw in the regular season.

Even trailing 26-22 at halftime, Central stayed in its zone.

"We were making plays on the offensive end, too," Adams said.

Most of those plays came from Frazier, who led all scorers with 27 points with one 3-pointer and 6 of 8 from the free throw line. The guard also grabbed eight rebounds, had four assists, three steals and two blocks.

"She's a big-time player," Adams said. "We go, a lot of times, as she goes."

But the Knights needed something more for the road win and they got it from Kiesha Washington. Washington scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half as Central used the third quarter to pull away from Woodstook.

"Kiesha stepped up," Adams said of her season-high in points performance. "We kept attacking."

Briana McGee scored 11 points, eight in the second half, for the Knights and Carol Reynolds scored her only basket in the decisive third quarter, but grabbed 11 rebounds in the win.

"I think the key was just other girls stepping up," Adams said. "It was good to watch them realize (the win)."