Dekalb County is rich in athletic talent and much of that talent was on display on the basketball floor during the Georgia State Championships. By the end of the championships there were four state champions and two runner ups from the county in two classifications.
In the Class 4A the Miller Grove Boys and Girls brought home state title each defeating Southwest Dekalb, also from Dekalb County. For the Miller Grove (24-9) boys their 63-57 win over Southwest Dekalb (21-12) gave them their fourth consecutive Class 4A championship. The Wolverine withstood a second half push by Southwest who held a one-point lead with a little under 4 minutes to play in the fourth quarter 49-48. Moments later Southwest DeKalb star and Memphis signee William “Shaq” Goodwin fouled out and from there Miller Grove would nail it down from the free throw line to seal the win. Miller Grove was led by Tony Parker who finished with 22 points, Justin Colvin added some timely shooting en route to his 17 points. Southwest Dekalb was led by Jordan Price, an Auburn signee , with 17 points. Goodwin finished with 12 points.The teams, who both play in the rugged Region 6-4A, were meeting for the fourth time this season and in all four meetings the final margin was decided by six points or less.
Miller Grove has garnered nationally attention the past four seasons winning its fourth championship in the school’s seven-year existence (opened in 2005) yet is not currently nationally ranked in due to losing to major opponents and very tough schedule. Miller Grove had losses to Oak Hill (VA), St. Anthony’s (NJ), Bishop Gorman (NV) and Simeon (IL) this season and all are still currently highly ranked in several national polls including the USA Today Super 25 and ESPN Powerade Fab 50. The only in state loss for Miller grove was to region foe Chamblee 56-54. It was the Wolverines first region loss since a 82-71 setback to Lakeside, Dekalb during the 2008-2009 season.
The Lady Wolverines won their first state championship with a 46-39 over Southwest Dekalb. It was their second consecutive 20-win season and a school record 25 wins. Miller Grove (25-4) had what seemed to be a commanding 30-13 lead at halftime but would have to withstand a 10-2 run by Southwest Dekalb in the final seven minutes of the fourth quarter before they hoisted the trophy. The good news for Miller Grove is they will only lose one player off the squad in Tabitha Fudge, who was vital during an 11-0 first half run that gave Miller Grove a 16-5 lead they would never give up. Miller Grove was led in scoring by Junior Klarissa Weaver who tallied 16 points (10 in the first half) and was everywhere defensively one could be throughout the contest. Southwest Dekalb was paced by Shayla Rivers and Jasmine Coleman who each finished with 10 points. The win was the Lady Wolverines 16th straight victory.
The Lady Wolverines did not play a cupcake of a schedule either. Of their four losses two of them came to a nationally ranked Good Counsel (MD) team and unranked Obion Central (TN). Both in-state losses were to region opponents Southwest Dekalb and Chamblee. Southwest Dekalb advanced to the semifinals by defeating Chamblee in the Elite Eight.
Miller Grove became the 12th school in Georgia to have their boys and girls win basketball state championships in the same season.
Dekalb County was not finished however as both the Columbia Eagles boys and girls were playing in the 3A finals. The Columbia (31-1)boys are currently ranked No.23 in the ESPN Powerade Fab 50 rankings and defeated Drew (28-5) 65-46 en route to their fifth state championship in seven seasons. The Eagles would have to withstand an 11-1 run at the start of the fourth quarter but put together their own 12-0 run in the final three minutes to secure the state championship. Tahj Shamsid-Deen led all scorers with 17 points and Jhaustin Thomas finished with 11 for Columbia. Drew, which was making a championship game in only its third season was led by Derrick Frye’s 13 points.
The tough schedule trend remained in order for Columbia whose one loss on the season was to West Charlotte (NC). The Eagles scored out-of-state wins over Lausanne (TN), C.I. Gibson (Bahamas) and Ridge View (SC).
On the girl’s side Columbia was seeking revenge as they faced a Washington County (32-1) team that was on a 63 game winning streak which included 57-47 state tournament win over the Lady Eagles last season. The Lady Eagles were not for play as they held the Lady Golden Hawks to five fourth quarter points which all came in the final minute of the fourth quarter. A physical game it was, Columbia got revenge and came away the 57-33 winner. The Lady Eagles did what they have done all season which was come out with their aggressive play shooting them out to an early 8-0 lead and they would never trail in the contest. Columbia had an all important 9-0 run in the second quarter 33-16 halftime lead. Washington County would make its push in the third but it would not me enough as they were held to only five fourth quarter points, all coming in the final minute of the contest. Columbia was led by Miah Spencer who totaled 15 points while Zuri Frost chipped in with 9. Defending 3A Champion Washington County was led by their star Allisha Gray who finished with 14 points, no other Lady Golden Hawk scored in double figures. The Lady Eagles won their second championship in three seasons.
Columbia became the 13th school in Georgia history to have their girls and boys program win the state championship in the same season. Miller Grove was the 12th with their boys and girls winning both a day earlier.