Ciara Alexander scored 12 of her game-high 27 points in the first quarter as Mount Paran Christian built a 10-point lead, and the Eagles methodically pulled away from visiting Athens Academy over the final three quarters for a 77-34 victory in the second round of the Class 2A girls basketball playoffs Friday night in Kennesaw.

The victory put the top-ranked Eagles in the quarterfinals for the fifth time in six seasons and kept alive their hopes for a third consecutive state championship. Mount Paran will play Tuesday at No. 10 Dodge County, which advanced with a 66-28 victory Friday night against Spencer.

Mount Paran (26-3) has won 12 consecutive games by at least 36 points since a 57-48 loss to Alabama power Hoover on Jan. 13. The Eagles’ other losses were against Class 7A No. 1 Grayson in overtime on Nov. 18 and Alabama’s Hazel Green on Dec. 29. Hoover and Hazel Green are both ranked among the top three teams overall in their state.

Alexander’s three-point play just over a minute into the game gave the Eagles a 5-0 lead, and her putback two minutes later made it 10-4. The lead was 22-12 by the end of the first quarter and 28-12 after the Eagles scored the first six points of the second, and Athens Academy never got closer than 13 points the rest of the way.

“Ciara’s motor is unreal,” Mount Paran coach Stephanie Dunn said. “In practice every day and in games, she just knows one speed, and that’s going all out. I tell them I want us to be the aggressor on both ends of the court, and she really sets the tone on both sides of the ball.”

Mount Paran had considerable advantages in size, with Alexander and fellow forward Jessica Fields dominating in the lane, and experience against an Athens Academy team that started three freshmen, a sophomore and a senior.

Alexander and Fields alone outscored the Spartans 21-19 in the first half, but they had plenty of help inside. Almost all of the Eagles’ first-half points, aside from two 3-pointers each by Jacalyn Myrthil and Isabella Ramirez and a handful of free throws, came inside the lane. Fields finished the game with 10 points.

Alexander was named the Region 6-2A player of the year this season, and she and Fields were all-state selections last season.

“When you have Jessica Fields and Ciara Alexander, you have to take advantage of their strengths,” Dunn said. “They work well together. They are very unselfish with each other, so we just work it as long as it will work.”

Mount Paran outscored Athens Academy 22-9 in the third quarter for a 62-28 lead and eventually led by as many as 46 points in the fourth.

Myrthil made three 3-pointers and finished with 19 points, and Ramirez had three 3-pointers and 11 points. Athens Academy was led by freshman guards Millie Pugmire with 13 points and Kendall Lawson with 11.

Athens Academy, the No. 3 seed from Region 8 which upset Callaway in the first round of the playoffs, finished the year 17-13.