On Tuesday, DeKalb County Schools went 3-0 in Sweet 16 play of the high school basketball state playoffs with a Columbia sweep at home and an overtime victory by Miller Grove in girls’ action on the road.
The No. 7 ranked and defending Class AAA state champions Columbia Lady Eagles (24-6) notched the first trip to the Elite Eight with a 64-32 victory over Central-Carroll (18-12) in the opener at Columbia on Tuesday night.
The Lady Eagles were trailing by three (5-2) with 5:48 to play in the first quarter when Destinee Smith started to make her presence known with a pair of big three-pointers on the way to a game-high 17 points. She tied the score with the first of her treys at the 5:32 mark and completed a 13-4 run with her second to give Columbia a 15-9 lead heading into the second quarter.
Central had nine turnovers in the first quarter and followed with seven more in the second as Columbia put together a 14-5 run in the period behind four points each from Smith and Zuri Frost for a 29-14 advantage at the half.
It was more of the same to start the second half as nine more turnovers led to a 15-3 run to start to the third quarter for Columbia as six different players scored on the way to an overwhelming 46-21 lead with a quarter to play.
Julia Gilley hit for 11 points to lead Central.
The No. 1 ranked and defending Class AAA champions Eagles (26-3) got off to a slow start before getting things together on the way to the 68-52 win over No. 6 ranked West Hall (24-6) in Class AAA boys’ second round play.
Jamaad Stephens and Shunquez Stephens teamed up for 13 first quarter points as West Hall built a 15-10 lead in the opening period.
Columbia’s Al Key who has over 1,300 points in his career got into the act in the second period scoring seven of his 19 points in the quarter, including three consecutive free throws to give the Eagles a 22-20 lead with 3:32 to play. Columbia would not trail in the game again.
The Eagles pushed the lead out to 46-30 at the end of the third period led by Tahj Shamsid-Deen’s seven points and six more from Key, including a pair of dunks.
West Hall tried to climb back into the game using their fouls to stop the clock and getting within 10 twice. Columbia responded by hitting 16 of 20 free throws in the final four minutes to put the game away.
The Eagles move on to face the winner of Wednesday’s Murray Co. (26-2) versus Troup (21-4) second round game at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 at the Northwest Georgia Trade Center in Dalton. The Lady Eagles will follow at 7 p.m. as they take on Cartersville (18-11) in a girls’ third round game.
The Miller Grove Lady Wolverines (20-9) battled back and forth with No. 10 ranked Creekview (23-7) in a Class AAAA girls’ second round game before pulling out a 57-52 win in overtime to advance to their first Elite Eight in the history of the school.
It also marks the girls’ program first 20-win season, but it did not come easy in what was a low scoring affair for much of the game. Miller Grove led 15-13 in a tight first half, but trailed 27-26 heading into the final quarter of play.
The teams fought to a 48-48 tie in regulation to send it into the deciding overtime period won by the Lady Wolverines.
Miller Grove advances to take on undefeated and No. 1 ranked Douglas County (29-0) in a 4 p.m. Elite Eight contest at West Georgia on Friday, March 4.