Final basketball rankings: DeKalb wins 4 titles, bringing county haul to 25 championships since ‘04

Columbia High’s sweep of the boys and girls state basketball championships in Class AAA last weekend put an end to the 2012 season and gave DeKalb County more evidence in its claim to being the state’s hotbed of high school hoops.

Columbia’s boys won their third straight championship in Macon with a 65-46 victory over Drew as three-year starting point guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen scored 17 points.

Columbia’s girls ended the 63-game winning streak of Washington County with a 57-33 victory and won their second title in three seasons.

Adding in Miller Grove’s sweep of AAAA on Friday, DeKalb teams have won 25 state titles in basketball since 2004. This list includes 22 public and three private-school teams.

Phil McCrary, who has been Columbia’s boys coach for 26 seasons and five state titles, says it’s a combination of talent, training and tradition. He notes that four former DeKalb players, including former Columbia star Travis Leslie, were taken in the 2011 NBA Draft. And a fifth, former Wesleyan star Trey Thompkins, grew up in DeKalb.

“The talent has always been there,’’ said Phil McCrary, Columbia’s boys coach since 1988. “It’s just a rich bed of talent in DeKalb whether it’s football or basketball or baseball.’’

While McCrary’s Columbia boys team became the first in history to win five titles in seven seasons, Miller Grove of Lithonia became the first boys program since Westover (1990-93) to win four straight titles. Miller Grove’s girls won their first championship. The school is only seven years old.

In Class AAAAA, Milton’s boys and McEachern’s girls validated their No. 1 state rankings with state titles. Both also are ranked in the top 10 of national polls, with McEachern – the state’s only unbeaten boys or girls team – as high as No. 2 in one.

In AA, Laney was the only non-metro Atlanta team to win a championship. It was the first boys state title for the Augusta school, which opened in 1949.

The girls’ AA champ was the tournament’s biggest surprise. Lovett beat four of the teams ranked in the top five heading into the state tournament – No. 1 Model (61-50 in the quarterfinals), No. 2 Laney (56-41 in the semifinals), No. 3 Buford (52-42) in the final and No. 5 East Hall (44-43 in the second round).

Lovett had lost its two previous meetings with Buford this season. It was Lovett’s first championship in basketball and snapped Buford’s streak of three consecutive state titles.

In A, Whitefield Academy of Mableton won a boys title for the third time while Wesleyan’s girls won their ninth title in 11 years, extending the state’s most dominant rivalry in history. Wesleyan was Gwinnett’s only champion this year after the county took home five titles each of the past two seasons.


1. Milton (29-4)
2. Savannah (30-3)
3. Harrison (23-8)
4. North Cobb (26-5)
5. Westlake (25-4)
6. Alpharetta (19-13)
7. Berkmar (23-8)
8. North Gwinnett (21-10)
9. Shiloh (25-5)
10. M.L. King (21-10)

Class AAAA
1. Miller Grove (24-9)
2. Southwest DeKalb (22-10)
3. Jonesboro (26-5)
4. Chattahoochee (25-6)
5. North Clayton (20-11)
6. Lovejoy (24-6)
7. Alcovy (27-4)
8. Marist (20-8)
9. Fayette County (25-3)
10. Douglas County (26-4)

Class AAA
1. Columbia (31-1)
2. Drew (28-5)
3. Eagle’s Landing (28-4)
4. Carrollton (26-4)
5. Washington (20-10)
6. Allatoona (26-5)
7. Crisp County (17-10)
8. Henry County (18-13)
9. North Hall (24-6)
10. Walnut Grove (25-4)

Class AA
1. Laney (28-4)
2. Manchester (23-3)
3. Jordan (27-4)
4. Greater Atlanta Christian (25-6)
5. Vidalia (27-4)
6. Albany (25-3)
7. Morgan County (23-4)
8. Dawson County (25-7)
9. Buford (22-8)
10. Thomasville (19-8)

Class A
1. Whitefield Academy (29-3)
2. Athens Christian (30-3)
3. Lanier County (26-5)
4. Turner County (27-6)
5. Wilkinson County (27-3)
6. Aquinas (23-7)
7. Mitchell County (18-10)
8. Taylor County (25-3)
9. North Cobb Christian (28-1)
10. Mount Paran Christian (24-6)


1. McEachern (33-0)
2. Norcross (26-6)
3. Hillgrove (26-5)
4. North Gwinnett (26-4)
5. Marietta (24-5)
6. Parkview (30-1)
7. Stephenson (25-5)
8. North Cobb (22-9)
9. Mill Creek (21-10)
10. Alpharetta (24-4)

Class AAAA
1. Miller Grove (25-4)
2. Southwest DeKalb (21-12)
3. Alcovy (27-5)
4. Chamblee (28-3)
5. Jonesboro (25-6)
6. Fayette County (25-6)
7. Forest Park (23-7)
8. Creekview (26-4)
9. Statesboro (27-3)
10. Douglas County (26-3)

Class AAA
1. Columbia (24-5)
2. Washington County (31-1)
3. North Hall (24-7)
4. Westside-Augusta (27-5)
5. Troup (23-6)
6. Allatoona (26-5)
7. Westover (26-3)
8. Monroe (20-9)
9. Hephzibah (19-8)
10. Carrollton (25-5)

Class AA
1. Lovett (28-5)
2. Buford (25-8)
3. Laney (29-2)
4. Model (29-2)
5. East Hall (26-4)
6. Morgan County (28-2)
7. Heard County (24-4)
8. North Oconee (25-4)
9. Calhoun (23-6)
10. Brooks County (24-7)

Class A
1. Wesleyan (29-4)
2. SW Atlanta Christian (29-4)
3. Taylor County (26-3)
4. St. Francis (25-6)
5. Gordon Lee (26-4)
6. Pelham (26-5)
7. Charlton County (24-5)
8. Darlington (27-4)
9. Pace Academy (21-7)
10. Wilcox County (17-9)

52 comments Add your comment


March 12th, 2012
2:54 am


March 12th, 2012
2:55 am

washington bulldogs will be back

Hubert Green

March 12th, 2012
6:40 am

Milton beat Lone Peak, Utah 70-42 in the BeachBball Classic Finals; Lone Peak won their 4th state title in 6 years, 68-38. They have 4 players committed to BYU. 2 in hoops; 2 in football.


March 12th, 2012
8:20 am

Congrats to Dekalb County bringing home 4 championships Millergrove and Columbia


March 12th, 2012
8:36 am

Congrats to the McEachern Lady Indians who had an amazing season! You should be the National #1 team. Go Lady Indians!


March 12th, 2012
9:55 am

Congrats to Pelham girl’s and boy’s nice run, looking foward to next season

Hubie Green

March 12th, 2012
10:29 am

@J.Hill Been watching high school basketball a long time. That McEachern team was amazing.


March 12th, 2012
12:57 pm

Phil McCrary, who has been Columbia’s boys coach for 26 seasons and five state titles, says it’s a combination of talent, training and tradition

You left out the R word or the P word for paying! But its doesn’t happen right!


March 12th, 2012
1:39 pm

Congrats to the Allatoona girls program for their great season and a final placement at #6 in the state rankings! Look for this team to do bigger and better things next year with all but one player returning. They will be led by Elise Spann, simply one of the best players in the state. She can play both guard and post, shoots well, rebounds, dishes, and handles the rock with great skill! She is being hotly recruited and her name will continue to rise to the top.

Tucker DAD

March 12th, 2012
1:51 pm

Wow! Congatulations to Miller Grove and SWD boys and girls. You represented Dekalb County well even though the county don’t represent us at all!!!! Great Job!

city slicker

March 12th, 2012
1:57 pm

at tucker dad that is so true and to oach y u so bitter who the hell columbia and miller grove gone pay these scools dont have any money or powerful booster clubs


March 12th, 2012
2:46 pm

man please u now he one of top recruiters in Dekalb. Don’t play!!! Not bitter, just a fan of bball. Dont have a reason the to bitter. CHS tried to get Tony Parker, come on son!!! Along with Norcross’ Matin, etc….


March 12th, 2012
2:58 pm

@coach, sit down somewhere! You sound like a “HATER”!!! And before you reply, I am from Gwinnett County and for what these kids have accomplished, they should be praised.


March 12th, 2012
3:32 pm

@Coach… Who is responsible for paying these recruits. You need to bring some facts to the table if you are going to make those accusations. I think that players will transfer to play for a certain coach but what’s wrong with that. When my son get to high school I am going to send him where the best opportunity is. I hopoe that you will do the same for your son.


March 12th, 2012
4:23 pm

Yeah I will but the right way. U right they are simple rumors though. But everyone know whats going on. Really I wasnt impressed with the boys game. I was thrilled when I saw the girls play. The intensity, atheltes running the floor, and the bench helping the team out. I think the CHS girls game was the best of all six. I was ready for the CHS boys but was disppointed. I left in the 3rd. I just knew they would bring the heat in the gym, but was shocked of little fanfare compared to the rest of the schools.




March 12th, 2012
4:40 pm

@Coach…I did not go to the games in Macon but I watched on tv and the Columbia-Drew game look like a pretty good game. I think Drew surprised some people by being a new school but anytime you start a new school the players will be there because you will have state of the art equipment and usually good coaches that want to start a program from ground up. With all that being said Columbia boys is still the beast on the block. maybe next year we will get to see them play the Savannah team.


March 12th, 2012
6:42 pm

How in the world has McCrary been coaching 26 years at Columbia but started in 1988?? Wouldn’t that mean this is the year 2014?? Somebody’s math is faulty!!


March 12th, 2012
10:09 pm

Dekalb County Schools win in spite of the school board and government. They do nothing for the kids and coaches. All they do is hinder them and put roadblocks in their way. I think we call it BUREAUCRACY! The county is infected with it. Kudos to the coaches and players! Job well done!

Mr. Fred

March 12th, 2012
10:18 pm

Thank you ladies from Hillgrove. Great season!


March 13th, 2012
3:08 am

Coach sounds a little jealous. What’s wrong u didn’t win enough games or put any kids in school for them to want to play for u. Or u one of those parents that think because u on the team u should play a lot of minutes. If u can name one team who won a championship without a transfer or kid in magnet I would love to know which school that is. Times ticking since u talking facts. Give me a fact on that one.


March 13th, 2012
5:16 am

Tell him g-dub. Everyone complains about athletes transferring but no one says anything about a regular student going to a so call better school or a private school.


March 13th, 2012
6:52 am

Congratulations to the DeKalb County teams! Like Todd said, DeKalb is the hotbed of basketball talent, both boys and girls. We can all split the day becoming Eagles and Wolverines. We all became Tigers after Tucker won the AAAA football championship this past season.

It was great seeing the SWD boys team there because you could tell when they were in Middle School there were something special (undefeated for their 8th grade year and could have probable defeated several high schools at that time).


March 13th, 2012
7:07 am

have the coaches had enough of milton yet?

The truth

March 13th, 2012
9:32 am

I mean, high school basketball has been ruined. It’s not about have a good coach, or having a community that continuesly produces talent. It’s about who can recruit the best. These dynasty get no respect for winning from me.


March 13th, 2012
10:39 am

Truth u sound like a lil lady


March 13th, 2012
10:41 am

G-Dub, yeah you right! I was just looking for something. it was an okay game but not what I expected. You right about Drew. Great job with little experience. I give you that about CHS!


March 13th, 2012
12:17 pm

I’m taking by basketball and going home.

True Blue

March 13th, 2012
2:31 pm

Every sports recruit from little league, middle school, high school, college, and pros. We can’t get mad or jealous about parents finding better oppurtunity for their son or daughter to earn a scholarship.This has been going on in private schools for a long time. Its just everybody is doing it now and since college tution keep going up and finanicial help keep decline. Why as a parent you wouldn’t send your son or daughter to a school. Where they help student-athlete accomplish their goal and earn a scholarship.


March 13th, 2012
2:37 pm

Columbia ALL DAY


March 13th, 2012
3:59 pm

Great answer true blue. Because if a better job presented itself outside our living area and it made sense financially most of us adults would go. No ? Asked. Think about it from that aspect

Shiloh Guru

March 13th, 2012
4:15 pm

If your not recruiting talent to your programs in AAAAA or AAAA boys basketball you will not be able to compete with the Miltons, Norcross, Miller Groves or Columbia’s for championships, and anyone who say’s different has not been watching basketball in Georgia for the last decade all you have to do is look where these kids go to middle school then where they end up going to high school. The GHSA is powerless to do anything about it because all you have to do is move into the district and your eligible to play immediately. Hell Milton had a player who the GHSA found out did not live in the district. What did they do made them forfeit 3 games and then ruled him eligible after he fully moved into the Milton school district. Come on what is that.

say what?

March 13th, 2012
5:06 pm

You can probably put a gigantic ***asterick*** on 9 of the 10 titles won this year in bball.

When is the last time a metro ATL team won a title with all homegrown players? Hell if Savannah won they would of probably been the first legit winner of the two largerst classification in over 10 years.

If these players are supposed to be so great they should be able to take the team in their school district deep in the playoffs instead of ganging up on the same team with their AAU buddies.


March 13th, 2012
7:34 pm

Congrats! To all the schools that participated in the GHSA tournament!!! Especially, Lucy C. Laney wildcats (boys). They have won state titles in the old GIA tournaments back in the 50s and 60s and as far as I’m concerned they count also.


March 13th, 2012
7:35 pm

Just curious, is recruiting that bad in the state of Georgia?


March 14th, 2012
12:24 am

@badboymedic. It’s not bad. Some people are just on the short end of the stick. If u go back and look at the earlier blogs when the season started, no one talked about recruiting or anything else. Now that there teams loss to better teams everyone wants to whine. Grow up. Best team in hat day won. And as far as recruiting goes, if anyone can tell me every athlete in every Georgia highschool goes to the correct school please name the school. U mist have at least 2 schools in the area to qualify


March 14th, 2012
12:29 am

Last comment for the GROWNUPS. If the best job wasn’t near your residence but u wanted more money and chance of advancement or promotion and a job opened up outside your residence or nearby parameters what would u do.

By the way a lot of people on here blaming coaches,asu programs, ghsa. Kids can’t move or transfer without PARENTS consent. On that note it’s baseball season. Let’s play ball as the umpire says!!!!!!!!!


March 14th, 2012
1:40 am

Great job this year Lovejoy!


March 14th, 2012
10:01 am

@ SAY WHAT …. Mays won back to back 2004 & 2005 then follow that up with a 2010 Championship game against Miller Grove. Coach Mack want recruit even though we beg him to. Washington has 4 starters that are zone for Mays…. That were sent to Washington by one of (Coach Mack) former player ..there AAU coach. But Mack is old school as well you can’t play on his team with Braids or tats . Mays be back in two years with home grown talent.

Marist Fan

March 14th, 2012
10:27 am

Marist lost to SWD by 1 and lost to Millergrove three times by an average of 10, holding millergrove to their lowerst point totals all year. Also, tony parker did not score more than 4 points against Marist thanks to great d by THE BIG PENCIL.You need to look beyond the record.

Marist Fan

March 14th, 2012
10:27 am



March 14th, 2012
11:36 am

It kills me when people brag about getting beat.


March 14th, 2012
11:48 am

@G-Dub My point exactly!!!


March 14th, 2012
12:55 pm

@bball72… you would think that Marist Fan would say something more intelligent than that.


March 14th, 2012
4:28 pm

My hats off to Savannah, runner-up in AAAAA Boys, a school with less than 800 students and playing in the largest classification whereas they should be playing AAA.


March 14th, 2012
4:58 pm

So we make it to the Final Four but the best we finish is #7?????????


March 15th, 2012
12:28 pm

Is it so hard to believe that a neighborhood can produce more than 1 good athlete? Not every school with a good program recruit’s. Many of those school’s have such a large pool of kid’s that it is impossible not to have a great deal of baller’s. Often, there is only one school in some of these places and that also gives them a stacked deck. Prop’s must be given to those who earned it. Dekalb school’s did a fantastic job this year in both football and basketball, no matter the conversation of out of district players. It is possible to compete as evidenced by Clayton’s showing this year in both sports. We do not recruit and the kid’s play within their district. It is just a matter of having good coach’s, kid’s willing to work hard and a belief in one’s ability.


March 15th, 2012
11:05 pm

I have to agree with Coach. I praise the kids for what they accomplished, but when you don’t follow the rules to get there something should be said. I know for a fact that at least 4 kids on Columbia’s team live out of district. And for those of you who ask “whats wrong with tranfering” whats wrong is that it is illegal unless you and your ENTIRE family move into that schools zone according to GHSA. Allowing this type of thing to happen will never give rural counties and cities in the state a chance, they don’t have several neighborhoods, or neighboring cities to recruit talent from.


March 16th, 2012
3:55 am

@just saying. Read all the rules for ghsa if u know them so well. How u point out Columbia of all schools. Does the school u support have every kid in the so called district. Please let us know if so. Everyone points the finger but look ar the thumb and see what direction Its pointed.


March 16th, 2012
4:00 am

@sports nut. I agree. Your one of a few people who speaks the facts as well as give credit to the winning or losing team.
@ just saying, if the rule states the entire family must move, how did Charles Mann become eligible. Check your rules again, u might find out u don’t know what you’re talking about


March 20th, 2012
10:15 am

I would like to congratulation to ALL ths state champions! We know that some of the coaches recruite. But we live in a microwave society, what have you done for me lately? Coaches are be pulled in several directions. Teacher, Mentoring, Counselor, Recruiter, consistly explaining to parents why their child is not playing, or why my child did not receive a schlorship?