Photo: David McGregor Mountian View's Anesya Williams looks to pass around the defense of North Forsyth defender Carlin Light during the Bears season ending loss to the Raiders in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs on Tuesday.
CUMMING -- Basketball is a definitely a game where playing at home can sure make a difference.
Just ask Mountain View as the Bears ventured into a hostile environment at North Forsyth and played well for three quarters in the opening round of the Class AAAAAA girls' state basketball tournament.
But in the end, it was North Forsyth that found its game in the fourth quarter and carried that momentum to a 78-60 win over Mountain View in a score that wasn't indicative of the battle that took place.
North Forsyth (24-5) will play Cherokee in the second round.
For Mountain View (18-11), it was a historic season as the Bears made the state tournament for the first time.
But it was a result that may have the Bears thinking about what could have been.
"I think we just got rattled by their fans and the whole atmosphere," said Mountain View head coach Jackie Lindquist. "When we were playing well in the first half, we took the crowd out of the game. But once (North Forsyth) got back in the game late in the second quarter, they seemed to carry that momentum into the second half and we went cold. We've been streaky all year and it happened tonight."
Mountain View came out on fire and took a 10-2 lead midway through the opening quarter and eventually went into the second quarter with a solid 19-12 advantage.
Mountain View was connecting from behind the 3-point arc -- getting a pair of treys from Iceis Walker and Aneysa Williams -- while playing tough defense on the other end.
Mountain View maintained that intensity into second quarter as the Bears built a 28-14 lead with 5:30 left.
But North Forsyth began to find the range from 3-point land and outscored Mountain View 18-6 in the final five minutes of the first half, which cut the Bears' lead down to 34-32 at the break.
Most of the damage came from Kim Blake, who is Lindquist's niece as, the two squared off Tuesday night.
Blake knocked down four 3-pointers, two of those coming in North Forsyth's run to close the gap to two at the half.
So Mountain View went to a box-in-one on Blake to start the second half and it held the senior guard to just three points for the final two quarters.
But North Forsyth had other weapons, including Lochlain Corliss and Caroline Bowns as the pair led the Vikings' charge and the first lead of the night at 44-42 with 1:12 left in the third quarter.
North Forsyth maintained that two-point margin 47-45 heading to the fourth quarter, which is when the wheels came off the Mountain View train and the Vikings outscored the Bears 31-15 in the final eight minutes.
"I'm still proud of this team and these seniors," said Lindquist. "We've come a long way in a short amount of time."
Bowns finished with a game-high 28 points, including two 3-pointers and 11 of 12 at the free throw line.
Corliss added 18 (7 of 9 at the line) while Blake had 15.
North Forsyth finished 32-for-38 at the free throw line, including 21 of 25 in the fourth quarter.
Walker led Mountain View with 20 points while Williams had 12 and Kelsey Hutchins and D'Andra Pringle each had eight.