Class AAAA girls: Columbia 38, Sandy Creek 37

Sandy Creek Patriots Patriots Sydney Jarmon (10) and Jasmine Jones (12) are overcome by emotion in the last- second loss. (Kent D. Johnson, AJC)

Sandy Creek Patriots Patriots Sydney Jarmon (10) and Jasmine Jones (12) are overcome by emotion in the last- second loss. (Kent D. Johnson, AJC)

No one had struggled more than Shaundricka Mann in a Class AAAA girls basketball championship game in which neither team could get anything going offensively.

But Columbia’s senior forward, who had been held scoreless for most of the game, made her only field goal of the night on a put-back with five seconds to play to lead the top-ranked Eagles to a 38-37 victory over Sandy Creek at the Macon Centreplex on Thursday for their second consecutive state title.

It was the first girls championship game in any classification since 1980 in which both teams failed to reach 40 points.

The championship was the third in four seasons for the Columbia (27-3), which won AAA titles in 2010 (40-36 over Carver-Atlanta) and 2012 (57-33 over Washington County).

Mann scored her only three points of the night in the game’s final seconds, beginning with the first of two free throws with 12.4 seconds to play. When she missed the second attempt, Columbia got the rebound. Shamyiah Smith missed on a jumper, but Mann grabbed the rebound and scored the game-winner. The final seconds ticked off the clock as Sandy Creek struggled to retrieve the ball and get it in inbounds.

Mann finished 1-for-11 from the field.

Columbia’s offensive woes were reflected in the performance of its two stars – Miah Spencer and Yaktavia Hickson. Spencer, who came in averaging a DeKalb County-leading 18.7 points, was held to five points on 2-of-10 shooting. She didn’t make a field goal until hitting a layup with about five minutes to play. Hickson, who averages 15.8, finished with a team-high 11 points but had just two in the first half as she battled foul trouble. Hickson picked up her third foul late in the first quarter and did not play in the second.

Columbia’s aggressive defense held Sandy Creek to 21-percent shooting (4-for-19) in the first half as the Eagles built a 16-9 halftime lead. But Columbia couldn’t take advantage, and Sandy Creek’s Jasmine Jones made the Eagles pay. Jones scored 15 second-half points, including all eight of her team’s third-quarter points and a 3-pointer to open the fourth, and her jumper with 2:26 to play gave the Patriots their first lead of the game at 35-33.

Sandy Creek, the only unranked team or No. 4 seed to reach the championship game in any classification, finished at 25-7.

Sandy Creek (37): Recee Walker 8, Courtney Street 2, Chloe Branch 4, Safiya Martin 4, Jasmine Jones 17, Allie Warren 2, Sydney Jarmon, Minnae Harris.

Columbia (38): Yaktavia Hickson 11, Miah Spencer 5, Shaundricka Mann 3, Shamyiah Smith 8, Kyle Felton 4, Malisha Harris 4, Starr Nowell 3, Natalie Williams.

14 comments Add your comment

Tucker Parent

March 7th, 2013
11:59 pm

Kudos Lady Eagles!!!

Dee

March 8th, 2013
2:11 am

Congrats Lady Eagles!!!

Faith

March 8th, 2013
6:48 am

Sandy Creek played a heck of a game and you have no reason to hang your head. Congrats to CHS!!!!!!

badbrad

March 8th, 2013
8:09 am

Terrific comeback in second half by Sandy Creek; had a great opportunity to win the game. I think the headline “Sandy Creek Crushed” is misleading. When you lose by 1 pt in the final seconds, you didnt get blown out as the headline suggests.

AJC WOW

March 8th, 2013
10:05 am

WOW AJC. All that the Lady Eagles have accomplished this year and we can’t get a picture on the blog. I don’t think we have done anything to offend you all, but it would have been nice to have gotten atleast one photo on the blog!

ROD WARREN

March 8th, 2013
10:31 am

That’s GREAT AJC to show our kids like this. We read the AJC in Fayetteville too and what we’ve noticed is that there was nothing on our kids when they were winning and breaking up your “little” bracket. You dismissed the Madison and Marist games like those teams were nothing. But what I thought was the worst was when you reported the Redan upset wrong. YES, I said wrong. You printed the game was at Sandy Creek which means you weren’t there at the game because if you were you would have known the game was not at Sandy Creek. So now you (AJC) take their lowest moment to and post it. They played their hearts out and didn’t deserve to have a picture like this posted of them. You could have put a celebration picture of Columbia. They’re the champions and we congratulate them but let’s not lose focus. This was tasteless and you email me so I can give you the rest of the story.

Dee

March 8th, 2013
10:45 am

I agree with the other posts. Sandy Creek, played their hearts out, they do not deserve to have this pic of defeat and words that say they were crushed; when up until sec of the buzzer , they were winning the game——- and I am a Columbia Lady Eagle Die Hard Fan. I am just wondering why a celebration picture of the Columbia Girls was not posted….. Congrats to Columbia “GA State Champs”; but much props to Sandy Creek, for playing an awesome game !!!!!

Dekalb Watcher

March 8th, 2013
11:15 am

They are talking about them losing in the last seconds, that is the worst way to lose a game. You would rather lose in a blowout than to lose like that, especially in a championship game. Great game by both teams, everyone left it all on the court. Sandy Creek did an excellent job getting to the championship game and proving they belonged! If any players of the Sandy Creek Girls Basketball team read this, Great job ladies! While you may not feel like it now, in time you all will realize you left it all on the floor and did everything you could.Congrats to the Columbia Lady Eagles on that win that took everything you had to get it! They also have more pics from the game, you have to look at all of them. Great job to all of the young Ladies from both Sandy Creek and Columbia!

W Floyd

March 8th, 2013
12:00 pm

Can we get a picture of the WINNING team for the story? Like you did with Eagles Landing.

fan of the game

March 8th, 2013
12:14 pm

I watched the game on TV. No particular rooting interest……. I disagree , somewhat, with a few comments posted here.

1.) It was a spiritually crushing defeat in the immediate aftermath of the game for SC. So the headline is correct

2.) The photo captured the essence of the ending for the neutral fan. Although I sympathize fully with the comments wanting a Columbia celebration picture.

3.) To bad the whole game was not played at the level displayed in the 2nd half……SC will always regret their poor free throw performance in the game.

Innocent Bystander

March 8th, 2013
1:09 pm

I’m not a fan of the AJC and any of it’s reporting regarding women’s sports of any kind. You have to search and dig and exhaust yourself to find a score or game time for high school or college or even the pros. However, I don’t disagree with the reporting of this story. Overall, it wasn’t a very well played game and not necessarily a well coached game either. I was rooting for Columbia because of a family connection and I thought they were more than lucky to escape with a win. I think that the picture and headline was correct because it had to be crushing for the ladies at SC to loose in such a manner when they played above their heads particularly in the second half. And no need to show a celebration for Columbia because it was really more about Sandy Creek losing than Columbia winning. I’m happy for the win of course, but I think the AJC got it right this time.

fan of the game

March 8th, 2013
1:13 pm

One thing I did notice is that one of the TV announcers was clearly rooting for SC. If I were a Columbia fan that might have irritated me.

Innocent Bystander

March 8th, 2013
1:16 pm

Yes. Shawn Golden called a SC upset before the game and rooted for them the entire time.

Snakedaddy

March 10th, 2013
9:45 am

Fried fish will be served at Columbia HS as the girls win the championship and the boys get second place to a awesome Eagles Landing team. Both teams and coaches are to be commended. So Columbia Lady Eagles take a bow. You deserve it. Congrats to Sandy Creek as well .