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Rockdale boys, girls sweep season series from Druid Hills

CONYERS -- LaRonte Parks was picking up points in each of the four quarters Friday in Conyers, so once his teammates started to score themselves it was tough to beat the Rockdale boys basketball team.

Parks had 22 points, including four 3-pointers, and three other players reached double figures as Rockdale knocked off Druid Hills 76-72 in Region 2-AAAAAA play.

Rockdale, which had lost consecutive region games coming in, swept the season series from the Red Devils and improved to 5-3 against league foes and 12-9 overall.

The game turned in the third quarter as Rockdale turned a slim 30-29 lead at halftime into an 11-point cushion heading to the final period. Darius Mitchell had nine of his 18 points in the third, getting three baskets to go along with two free throws from Parks as Rockdale scored the first eight points of the third and led 38-29.

Druid Hills pulled to within 38-33 before Parks and Mitchell each hit a 3 during another 8-0 run that made it a 46-33 game with 2:34 left.

In the fourth, Druid Hills got to within seven points on two occasions, but each time Parks stretched it back to 10 by draining a shot from behind the arc. His last long ball made it 60-50 and started the Bulldogs on a 10-2 spurt that would give the Conyers school its largest lead of the night at 67-52 with a little more than two minutes to play.

Parks, C.J. Wilson (14 points and seven assists) and Myles Cardenas (10 points, seven rebounds) sealed the win by hitting 7 of 10 free throws over the final minute and a half.

In the opening half, Rockdale led by as many as eight points, at 26-18 on a field goal by Cardenas with six minutes to play in the second quarter.

But Druid Hills fought back, thanks to point guard Deshon Burgess (team-high 19 points). The senior assisted on a 3-pointer by Hassan Abdiathim and added a 3-pointer of his own, then a free throw to get the Red Devils to within 30-29 at halftime.

The game was tied at 9-9 midway through the first when Parks picked up three of his seven first-half points on a three-pointer and Frank Emeka followed with a putback to make it a 14-9 game.

Druid Hills got as close as three in the opening quarter before Julian McKnight, making a rare start, got a bucket and Cardenas' layup made it 20-15 after one.

Alonzo Brantley added 11 points and Clarence Williams and Kyle Simmons added 10 each for Druid Hills.

Rockdale raced out to a huge lead in the girls game and never trailed in winning 56-28 to also sweep the season series.

Rockdale (13-7, 6-2 Region 2-AAAAAA) got 17 points from Mississippi State signee Breanna Richardson and 11 from Brianna Patton in continuing to roll offensively against another league opponent. On Tuesday, Rockdale blew out Lovejoy 63-26.

The Conyers school went up by as many as 32 points against the visitors from DeKalb County on the last of Richardson's points with 3:21 remaining in the game.

The Bulldogs were efficient from behind the 3-point arc during a first-quarter blitz that saw the hosts build a 19-point lead six minutes into the game.

It started with freshman Bianca Riley, who nailed a pair of 3-pointers and assisted on a third by Shebreta Alexander to make it 11-0 early.

Later, Brianna Patton got three of her seven first-quarter points on a 3-pointer, and Jaycie Williams made it 5-for-7 in the opening quarter from long range, hitting a shot from the top of the key to make it a 19-0 game with 2:10 left.

Druid Hills finally got on the scoreboard when Nikki Mintz converted a transition layup with 1:56 to play.

The Red Devils got as close as 15 points in the second quarter on a free throw from Makaila Mayes at the 1:37 mark, but Sojourner Hall had consecutive putbacks to send Rockdale into the locker room up 30-11.

Rockdale, which also got eight assists from point guard Alexander and six points and four assists from freshman Sydney Fields, turned a 19-point halftime cushion into a 46-17 advantage with just under two minutes to play.

For Druid Hills, Andresha Smith had six points and 10 rebounds, and three other players chipped in with five points each.