DOUGLASVILLE -- When it comes to postseason basketball, every possession, every dribble and every shot attempt are magnified to the highest degree.
Fortunately for the Southwest girls, they have enough star power to shine bright on the big stage against the top teams in the state.
The visiting Patriots dominated Chapel Hill 72-49 on Friday in the first round of the GHSA Class AAA tournament.
It didnt take long for the Patriots to flash their basketball brilliance against the Panthers.
Southwest opened the game with a stifling defensive front, which resulted in a 24-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. Chapel Hill began the second quarter on a hot streak and cut its deficit to 26-20 with 3:30 left in the first half. But that would be as close as it would get for the remainder of the contest.
My team played as one, and we worked hard together to get to the top, Southwests Jazmine Burgan said. The Patriots have a lot of fight. We push each other, and were sisters that believe together. I love Southwest.
The Patriots finished the half on a high note, taking a 32-21 lead to the locker room. Southwests lead ballooned to as many as 14 points when it ended the third quarter with a 51-37 advantage. But just as it did at the start of the second quarter, Chapel Hill fought back to make things interesting in the beginning of the fourth.
Chapel Hill got to within single digits midway through the quarter, but Southwest head coach Willie Goolsbys scheme of tight man defense and milking the clock before attacking the basket worked to perfection, thus halting Chapel Hills rally.
One of the things we practiced was breaking down their press, and I thought that was the key, Goolsby said. Were glad to be where were at and to live to play another day. I wish we had longer to get ready for the next round. We cant do anything about Mother Nature. Everything is backed up from the storm, so theres a small gap between games.
Leading the charge for Southwest was Burgan, who poured in a game-high 27 points and collected 11 rebounds. Kayla Waters added 17 points, four assists and four steals, while NyAsia Holmes had 14 points along with five rebounds, and Shakenya Peters had 11 points, four rebounds and four steals.
Southwest will hit the road once again for second-round action, traveling across state to face Beach in Savannah on Monday.