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SUWANEE — Collins Hill’s girls basketball team pulled away with a big third quarter Thursday night, dispatching its closest challenger in Region 8-AAAAAAA for the third time this season.

The Eagles (22-1) defeated Peachtree Ridge 58-39 in the region tournament finals, and claimed their fourth straight region championship. It was their best showing of three games this season against the Lions, which included a tight 60-52 win two weeks earlier.

“We’re trying to carry on the tradition we started when we got here, and it started before we got here,” Collins Hill girls coach Brian Harmon said of the fourth straight region title. “We’re trying to keep it going.”

Collins Hill led 18-9 after a quarter, then Aaliyah Hunt (15 points, 12 rebounds, five blocks) led a 6-0 run to open the second quarter that cut the margin. However, the hosts pushed the lead back out to 28-19 by halftime.

Peachtree Ridge (14-7) started the third quarter with similar energy and trailed only 30-23 when Collins Hill’s Eden Sample scored with 5:10 remaining in the quarter. That basket started a 15-0 run over the next three minutes that doomed the Lions, who trailed 48-25 after three quarters.

“Playing offense and defense together, all of them communicating,” Harmon said of the keys in the third-quarter run. “We had a moment in the timeout where I looked up and I went to say something and all of them were talking. I just backed off and let it be. That’s important for this group.”

Sample finished with a game-high 17 points and six steals, and Sacha Washington had 12 points and 16 rebounds. Kyra Jefferson also scored 12, including eight in the key third quarter. Aniecia Malone scored nine, seven coming in the second half.

Collins Hill, state runner-up to Westlake the past two seasons, heads to the state tournament as a No. 1 seed again.

“The last couple of games have been a lot better than what it was before that,” Harmon said. “I think they’re focused now on the end game.”

In addition to Hunt’s big game, Peachtree Ridge got 12 points from Nia Hicks and eight points and six rebounds from Kennedy Harp. The Lions will be 8-AAAAAAA’s No. 2 seed for the state tournament.

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