Georgia neighbors vie for trip to tourney title game

Two suburban Atlanta schools traveled all the way to Myrtle Beach to settle a score that could have been played in one of their gyms, which are separated by only 18 miles.

But the winner of this neighborhood rivalry between Norcross (Ga.) and Stephenson (Stone Mountain, Ga.) will get the chance to play for the prestigious Crescent Bank Holiday Invitational title, well worth the 360-mile trip to the Grand Strand.

Norcross defeated Dutch Fork 60-41 and Stephenson knocked off Troy (Calif.) 39-34 in Tuesday’s quarterfinals at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to collide in the semifinal round.

The two will meet at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and the winner will advance to face the Archbishop (Pa.)-Spring Valley victor in Thursday’s 2:15 p.m. championship game.

Norcross advanced to the semis for the second straight season with an impressive victory over previously undefeated Dutch Fork.

The Lady Blues (6-2) used an 11-3 run to open the second half and build a 43-24 cushion with 10:54 to play, and they never looked back.

Diamond DeShields led Norcross with 20 points, while Donnesha Shuler paced Dutch Fork (7-1) with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Stephenson (9-1) held off a late run by Troy to advance. Stephenson led from the opening tip and built leads as large as 14 points in the second half before Troy (6-3) made things interesting down the stretch.

Kaliyah Mitchell paced Stephenson with 12 points. Troy, which made the 2010 CBHI title game, was led by Gabriella Hanson’s 17 points and nine rebounds.

In other action Tuesday, two local teams suffered big losses in the consolation bracket. Miami Sr. beat St. James 55-33 and Providence Day (N.C.) defeated Socastee 70-10.

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