Girls basketball POY: Roberts stood out on loaded McEachern roster

McEachern’s Pachiyaanna “Pachis” Roberts was the brightest star on a roster loaded with talent.

To be sure, Roberts had her share of memorable moments this season. There was the 60-foot shot she hit at the buzzer to cap a 42-point performance in a 64-61 victory against Memphis Central (Tenn.) in the fourth game of the season. There were the acrobatic rebound put-backs on consecutive possessions to help the Indians regain control in the state championship game after Hillgrove had cut a 21-point deficit to 12 at the start of the fourth quarter.

But it was Roberts’ all-around solid play that made her The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s state Player of the Year in 2011-12, according to McEachern coach Phyllis Arthur and coaches of teams that had to face the 5-foot-11 senior.

“We could not have done it without her,” Arthur said. “She does it all. She’s one of those players that’s not stuck in one position. She’s not just a small forward or a power forward or a guard. She can bring the ball up the court; she can shoot it well outside; she can go to the basket; she can rebound. She led us in rebounds and led us in scoring. She led us in blocked shots. She just does it all.”

Said Matt Williams, coach of 4-AAAAA rival North Cobb: “Roberts was the most dominant player in our region. She had the ability to take over a game from the inside, outside or defense. She has length, athleticism and smarts and is very unselfish. McEachern had many weapons, but Roberts was definitely the most dominant.”

Roberts averaged 17.9 points, 10.5 rebounds, 3.8 steals, 2.4 assists and 1.7 blocked shots while leading the Indians to a 33-0 record and the Class AAAAA title. The Indians outscored opponents by an average of 29 points and had just six games decided by 10 points or less. McEachern, the No. 2 team nationally in the most recent ESPN rankings, won four of its five state tournament games by 33 or more points and knocked off two-time defending champion Norcross 64-61 in the semifinals.

“Everyone really expected us to win [the championship] all season,” Roberts said. “We didn’t want to let them down.”

Roberts, who will play for Syracuse University next season, is one of six McEachern players to sign with, or commit to, Division I programs. Fellow seniors Dominique Wilson (Arkansas), Destinie Gibbs (Mississippi) and Kayla Montgomery (Clemson) have signed letters of intent, while junior Mia Cooper has committed to South Carolina, and freshman Te’a Cooper has said she will attend North Carolina.

“I told the girls that with us having six D-I players, it was kinda like sometimes we had five college girls at a time playing against five high school girls,” Arthur said. “There was no excuse for us. We had no other option but to win it. And I harped on that every day, that we had the best team on the court and off the court, on paper and off paper, and there was no reason for us to think about losing games.”

22 comments Add your comment

Hubert Green

March 23rd, 2012
5:12 pm

McEachern’s girls team was one of the best I have ever watched in the state of Georgia. It was uncanny how they came out on fire hitting 3’s every game. Norcross and Collins Hill in the past were also right there, along with Stephenson.

DekalbCo

March 23rd, 2012
10:18 pm

Those gurls are good. Didn’t think I could see a team that could man handle Norcross but they(mainly Gibbs) shut down Norcross. Bad calls made the 2nd meeting tough. B nice to have an All class championship. Columbia were good too. Not so much MGrove girls.

OMacG

March 23rd, 2012
10:42 pm

Congrats to Pachis! A rare group of young women with unparalleled leadership, work ethic and chemistry to go with the talent…and Pachis was the glue with that knack for always making a big play when it was needed. Fun to watch this group come up through the ranks and continue dominating as they did during their middle school days. Outstanding job by Coach Arthur keeping everyone’s head straight throughout the season…not only a great coach but a great teacher and person who is a valuable asset to McEachern High School. Proud of every coach and girl on that roster, especially the 2012 seniors- look forward to following the success of Pachis, Dominique, Kayla and Destiny at the college level.

What a fun ride to watch a team execute at such a high level practically every time they took the floor; it was a rush to see them gut it out in the semi against Norcross and, of course, the title game was the exclamation point to an unbelievable season…but the most amazing display of them all that I’ll take with me from this team was that 2nd quarter against a ranked Westlake team in Round 2. Absolute perfection.

Bill Clements

March 24th, 2012
1:37 am

Witnessed several of the games this season – best I have ever seen – most athletic, best basketball skills and extremely well coached and prepared ! And a very deep roster ! Totally awesome !

Football Fan

March 24th, 2012
8:16 am

Why did she shorten her name to Pachis…oh, wait…

Droopy74

March 26th, 2012
9:29 am

This comment is directly to DekalbCo, please do me a favor and keep the Miller Grove Girls out of your mouth if you have nothing good to say. They could play with any team in the state on any given day anywhere. 25-4 State AAAA Champions

Only lost 2 games in the State, both on the road at Chamblee and SW Dekalb.However if there is someone out there that wants to be critical, we also lost @ Lovett in a Scrimmage the beginning of the year.

The other 2 losses to Good Counsel(National Ranked ESPN and MaxPreps) & Obion (Troy,TN) Finished Runner up in there state tournament.

I dont know DekalbCo, but you sound like you drink a lot of HATERADE

gakat1

March 26th, 2012
1:05 pm

Let’s be real here. To compare the McEachern girls with Collins Hill is a big stretch at best. C hill won the NATIONAL championship and runnerup another year, only because they lost a controversial 1 point game to #1 national champ team. They had a string of 1 Runnerup, refs gave it to Stephenson, and 3 straight State titles. And a bunch of girls stars in the college ranks, beside the best ever, Moore.

So those with short memories should rethink. And no I have no ties to C Hill, I live in Jackson, Ga southeast of Atlanta.

Big Man

March 26th, 2012
1:38 pm

gakat1 Maya Moore is not the best ever.

Trail mix74~

March 26th, 2012
2:30 pm

I think she deserves the title !!! I thought they were going to try to hype up the young lady from WACO.. Due to her numbers..but I think they got it right!

Trail mix74~

March 26th, 2012
2:35 pm

I think POY has to come from a State Champioship team~ So next year when Diamond DeShields and Kaela Davis are seniors and if they both win State,,How will they decide that? those 2 girls are the best in the state right now..no question, hands down. It could have have gone to either of them this year, and there wouldn’t have been much to argue over!

J.Hill

March 26th, 2012
2:54 pm

Undoubtably the Best Selection! Pachis was absolutely awesome! Can’t waint to watch her play at Syracuse…. ACC Player of the Year honors are on the way!

OMacG

March 27th, 2012
9:01 am

gakat1, I’m biased a bit…but this McEachern girls team finished runner-up national champs in two different polls and a great argument can and has been made that they deserved the title over the Arizona team who won it. Given that information and comparing it to what you presented, do you really see it being a “big stretch at best” to place them in the company of that Collins Hill team? I don’t see much stretching needed.

Stephenson Girls basketball

March 27th, 2012
10:53 pm

Why is anyone even taking the time to mention Stephenson? Who are they and where are they? Their time has long gone. MG is on the prowl!!!

gakat1

March 28th, 2012
9:02 am

omacg, did you see the Chill team all 4 years Maya was there? I did many times and they were nationally ranked at least 3 of those years.

Also did you see McE get decimated last year by Norcross in the finals. They were a disaster. This year, yes tough, but barely beat Norcross with DeShields with one hand. Cross made a big run at the end totally outmanned. I think perhaps ‘big stretch’ may be slightly off but not much. Just the facts.

Jake Sneed~

March 28th, 2012
9:20 am

Thats real disrespectful of you guys over at Miller Groove.. clearly that championship has got you talking crazy.. 1st of all you guys just started doing anything associated with winning..Stephenson has been putting in work for years now..miller groove you just made it past the 1st round this year? you guys got blown out by columbia last year..so bad that you won’t even play their girls anymore! but you are on here talking crazy..well, i hope you can back up all that talk, cause you are in the same region with Stephenson next year!

BrunoBars

March 30th, 2012
11:26 pm

I would like to see how many girls the state of Arizona is placing in D1 schools compared to Georgia. That should settle the fact that McEachern should be number one in the Nation. In region 4AAAAA alone you have Celina Rodrigo goint to Wake Forest, Hegsteter going to Alabama, Kira Gordon going to UNC Charlotte, and 4 seniors from McEachern going to Ole Miss, Clemson, Arkansas and Syracuse respectively. Not to mention Norcross, and N Gwinett players.

OMacG

April 3rd, 2012
11:38 am

gakat1-

Seems to me we’re on different topics…you’re comparing Collins Hill/Mac from a dynasty standpoint and the other posts (including mine) are sharing the opinion that this single 2012 Indians team is the best or one of the best we’ve seen. Why did you bring in last year’s loss to Norcross in the title game? Looks to me that they compare favorably to any one of those CH teams that won it…undefeated playing a national schedule against teams who placed in the final national rankings…33-0 with only 6 of those wins being by single-digit margins. I recall one of those CH teams squeaking past Marietta in the playoffs, just as Mac did against Norcross.

I doubt we’ll see any program dominate again like those Collins Hill teams during the Maya Moore years- the competition across the board has improved and Maya might likely be known for decades to come as the best female basketball player ever produced by the state of Georgia.

By the way- living in Jackson does not necessarily have anything to do with you having ties to Collins Hill…either now or then.

Eagledad

April 3rd, 2012
4:18 pm

gakat1 lived in Gwinnett for 30 years. Don’t let him make you think he is just some general fan who has lived down in the boondocks his whole life and has no “ties” to the CH team. He is no less biased than you are about your team.

gakat1

April 4th, 2012
9:57 pm

Eagledad, Interesting that you know more about my life than I do. I lived in Lilburn for 27 years in the Parkview district. Never knew anyone at Collins Hill including parents, coaches managers, neighbors or your uncle. I used to coach and just know good basketball. Collins Hill was the best, yearly, dynasty, history or whatever. They had 4 big time years and won titles before Maya.

And if I was partial then the 2003 5A champion Parkview girls team was the best overall ‘team’ of all. No superstar but 6 or 7 kids that played great defense and were the most unselfish ever.

So take your bullshi! comments and take the one way trip to the hot world!

gakat1

April 4th, 2012
10:05 pm

Now omacg, I have respect for your opinion on the sports board and do in this case also. I guess the dynasty portion was added by me and I still stand by those comments. Not having seen McEachern as much as you, I just was not that overall impressed against Norcross and Hillgrove was beat when they walked on the floor. I’ll leave it at that and look forward to your enlightened banter in the future.

This clown eagledad is another story, will leave it at that also. As you probably know I usually go to 50 or 60 games each year in Ga. Just enjoy HS ball. And yes I’ve lived in Jackson for over 5 years.

OMacG

April 5th, 2012
7:51 am

gakat-

Thanks and the respect is mutual- it is clear from your posts on the vent through the years that you know the game very well. Being truthful, I only saw those great CH teams a handful of times…it appears both of us are making judgements without viewing all of the evidence and we should consider agreeing to disagree- no way to know how this 2012 Mac team and one of those CH teams would have fared against one another in a head-to-head game. I’ve already conceded the dynasty facet of our discussion; as I said- doubtful we’ll see another Collins Hill in Georgia in the highest class. The level of play has increased across the board and I’m all for that…but I think we’re selling our soul to get there.

No shame to me in losing a double-digit lead and having to hold on for a tight win against that Norcross team. Yes, DeShields was likely limited by her wrist injury…but it didn’t seem to affect her performances in the 4-5 games prior to the semi and their other big-time D1 junior is tough her own self. Did any of those Collins Hill teams have to go through anyone comparable to a Norcross to win the title, with both a DeShields and Cooper on the roster?

gakat1

April 7th, 2012
8:56 pm

OMacG, They played Stephenson I believe all 4 years at some point during the state runs. I know Stephenson had one star that made all conference in the SEC and had 5 or 6 other D1 players. They beat C Hill when Moore was a freshman in the state finals. The other games were not finals but usually the best games that anyone played against C Hill. I didn’t take time to look up Stephensons players but they were very good and ranked nationally during that time frame (2004-2007).