Boys Region 6-AAAA final: South Atlanta 74, Columbia 73

Down by as many as 18 in the second half, South Atlanta needed a spark.

It came from Derrick Byrd.

The junior scored 14 of his team-high 23 points in the third quarter, as the Hornets charged back from a sluggish start to beat No. 1 Columbia 74-73 in the Region 6-AAAA final.

With 6:30 left in the third quarter, No. 5 South Atlanta (24-4) trailed the Eagles 42-24, getting outrebounded by a dozen and struggling to sustain any sort of consistent offense.

Meanwhile, Columbia’s Taaj Shamsid-Deen had 18 points on the other end of the floor and was getting to the basket whenever he wanted.

But Byrd got the comeback started with a 3-point play at 6:21, followed by a jumper that seemed to give South Atlanta life, kicking off a 25-10 run to finish the quarter to cut the lead to 52-49.

For Byrd, it was a chance to assert himself and help his team, and he showed he could be up to the task.

“I think he grew up a little more tonight,” South Atlanta coach Michael Reddick said. “We’ve seen it in practice. I mean, he’s a competitor. But tonight, we always said the top two point guards in the region were playing against each other (Byrd and Shamsid-Deen) and, that third quarter, he stepped up.”

In the fourth, the teams went back and forth until four straight South Atlanta free throws gave the Hornets control, and they never again relinquished the lead. Shamsid-Deen, who finished with a game-high 29 points, made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the game its final score. Teammate Kyle Wallace had five 3-pointers and finished with 24 points.

8 comments Add your comment

Manny fresh

February 16th, 2013
11:53 pm

Can we get our props now dang we bear Columbia twice we beat Marist can we move our state rank up and like I told y’all we got the best back court in the state keep telling y’all south atlanta is no joke

Brandon

February 17th, 2013
12:25 am

They can never respect my school. Inner city school at that.

Shiloh Stirl

February 17th, 2013
12:42 am

Incredible game both teams are top notch and both will more than likely meet in the AAAA final in 3 weeks with much respect to Eagles Landing. Columbia was playing without one of their starters but South Atlanta is no joke. Good job of hosting as well goes out to South Atlanta High School.

Manny fresh

February 17th, 2013
12:54 am

Yea dey didn’t hve Kiair prolly woulda been a diff gm but who knows he did play the 1st time @ Columbia and south atlanta still won lead the whole gm. But it was a good gm shouts out to both squads. Eagle landing is pretty deep over der probably won’t see them till the final 4 but hey we tryna bring home this state back to south Atlanta go hornets

Hoopscoop

February 17th, 2013
7:17 am

Manny Fresh- did you write the headline score too? At least take a second grade spelling class,so,we can understand half of what you are trying to say.

Manny fresh

February 17th, 2013
11:39 am

Lol my bad HoopScoop I b trying not to talk slang and putting abbreviations for things but its a habit you see I use prolly and probably. I see some people don’t understand the slang. I feel you dough homie you must be a Columbia fan???

Brandon

February 17th, 2013
5:40 pm

Columbia fans always crying c’mon son. Yall lost plain and simple. It was bad officiating the whole tournament, Columbia can’t win them all. Y’all are the ones that gave up an 18 pt lead we didn’t. Y’all did that against Grady friday too. The game is over see you in the State tourney where it really counts.

Decatur 4 Life

February 19th, 2013
12:46 pm

Manny fresh

Why does he have to be from Columbia? We understand slang very well, I”ll give you guys your props you beat us twice with the last one I feel we let yall off the hook but I knew your shooters would wake up in the 2nd half. It was a good game overall the way a region championship game’s supposed to be, Kiar wouldn’t have made a lot of difference but he definitely would’ve been a better experienced ball handler to have in with Tahj. Our other guards couldn’t handle the pressure when we were up 18 and S. Atl made a run in the 3rd quarter that was the difference in the game. Also before I forget #23 King is a beast but without the scoring of the lil guard Byrd #3 in the 3rd quarter they wouldn’t have come back. He scored the last 9 or 10 points consecutively to pull them to within a few points heading into the 4th.

Brandon

Real Columbia basketball fans never cry, we got way too much history for that. All of these state title runs didn’t just start when we won our first championship in 2006, we’ve been one of the better schools in the state in basketball for a long time check our pedigree. We have two state championship appearances in the 90’s as well as numerous state tourney appearances in the 80’s and even though we lost those early championship games I think it paved the way for the current Eagles to have success on that big stage. I’ve always liked S. Atl so don’t think we won’t give you your respect, I wanted to see Vincent Banks’ group win the state that year I had a lil partner on the team (Big Fudge) the shot blocker. All I’m saying is don’t hate on us you said it yourself we can’t win all the time…lol. Just keep winning year after year then you’ll get your much needed respect until then don’t hate on this East End of thangs.