Norcross’ Brandon Goodwin scored 22 points, and North Cobb’s Lee Moore missed one of two free late free throws, as Norcross won a 59-54 thriller over North Cobb in the Class AAAAAA semifinals.
Goodwin led Norcross, hitting 8 of 10 crucial free throws down the stretch – including the front end of three one-and-ones – but it was Moore who threatened to steal the show.
In a stretch spanning the third and fourth quarters, Moore scored 15 consecutive North Cobb points and 17 of 20, bringing the Warriors back from as many as 11 down to a 44-42 deficit in the closing minutes.
The senior scored 21 of his team-high 23 in the second half, but it was the final two free throws he may remember.
Down 55-53, Moore stepped to the free throw line with a chance to tie the game with 12.7 seconds left, pumping his fist and smiling as he got set to take the ball.
He calmly made the first, but the second rattled out, and Norcross got the rebound. A Jon Beausejoir potential game-tying 3-pointer on the next possession was blocked, and Goodwin scored his final 2 points on a rebounded subsequent free throw.
Holding just a 2-point lead at halftime, the Blue Devils held North Cobb scoreless for more than half of the third quarter, pushing their lead into double digits for the first time.
It was a lead they never relinquished, though the Warriors did cut it down to 2 at one point in the fourth quarter.
Norcross’ size was too much for the Warriors, particularly on offense, where North Cobb struggled getting the ball inside for most of the game with 6-foot-7 Terrance O’Donohue and 6-6 Lorenzo Carter manning the paint.
During the third quarter, the only thing keeping the Warriors in the game was outside shooting, as all 9 of their points came on 3-pointers – two from Lee Moore and one from Moore.