Woodward led 27-26 at halftime and was able to surge a 46-36 lead midway in the third period on a basket by Bowles. But Southwest rode Thompson, who attacked the basket, pulled to within 47-46 after three quarters and took a 50-49 lead on Lauryn Bell’s bucket.
But that’s when Woodward went on an 11-1 run to push the lead to nine points, only to have Southwest DeKalb respond with six unanswered points to get to within 60-57.
That’s when Bowles made the play of the game. The junior lofted in a 3-pointer and was fouled, with the ensuing free throw putting Woodward ahead 65-57 with two minutes left. Southwest DeKalb was left to foul and Woodward made six free throws and denied the Panthers any more points.
“I tell the girls all the time that basketball is a game of runs,” Lawrence said. “Southwest DeKalb didn’t stop fighting, they fought back. That’s what’s going to happen. You just have to withstand their run and our run outlasted their run.”
Woodward Academy will host the semifinal game against the winner of Wednesday’s game between Loganville and Griffin.