The Columbia boys won their third state championship in a row on late Saturday night.
The DeKalb powerhouse won a 65-46 slugfest over Drew High for the Class AAA state championship.
Point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen scored a game-high 17 points, while teammate Jhaustin Thomas finished with 11 for Columbia (31-1). Drew, the Clayton school only in its third year of existence, was led by Derrick Frye with 13 points.
“The only thing I can say, with a target that big sitting on their back, you can’t say enough about the way our kids responded,” Columbia coach Phil McCrary said. “There was pressure on them, day after day and game after game. I’m proud of the way they responded.
“We didn’t play one of our best games tonight, but we played well enough to win. Maybe that was because of some of the things Drew forced us to do … we feel lucky to get out of here with a win.”
The game was like one long foul shot. There were a total of 47 fouls called between the two teams.
Columbia appeared to be cruising to an easy win until Drew rallied in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to 53-46 after a layup by Cory Graves with 2:29 left in regulation.
However, Columbia finished the game on a 12-0 run to capture a third straight state title.