Class AAAAA girls: Southwest DeKalb 56, Miller Grove 52

Southwest DeKalb led by as many 14 points in the second half but had to survive a last-minute rally by 2012 champion Miller Grove for a 56-52 victory in the Class AAAAA girls basketball final on Friday at the Macon Centreplex.

It is the fourth championship in seven years for the Panthers, who also won titles in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Southwest DeKalb (24-8) also became the seventh team from DeKalb County in eight years to win the championship in the second-highest classification.

The game was the fifth meeting of the year between the Region 6-AAAAA rivals. Miller Grove won the first three during the regular season before Southwest DeKalb won in the region and state tournament finals.

The second half was filled with swings in momentum. Southwest DeKalb outscored Miller Grove 10-0 over the first four and a half minutes of the third quarter to build a 34-20 lead, taking advantage of Miller Grove’s 0-for-11 shooting and four turnovers to start the half. Miller Grove answered with an 11-0 run to end the quarter, closing the gap to 34-31.

Miller Grove (26-6) eventually tied the score at 36-36 on a 3-pointer by Tashi Thompson with 6:43 to play, but Southwest DeKalb went on another 10-0 run to re-establish control. The lead was 55-45 with 42 seconds left before Miller Grove made one last charge that closed the gap but came up short.

Tynice Martin finished with 15 points, 16 rebounds and four blocked shots to lead Southwest DeKalb. Katie Hunt led Miller Grove with 15 points, Thompson had 14 and Klarissa Weaver scored 12 despite battling foul trouble.

Southwest DeKalb finished with 28 turnovers, but Miller Grove had 32 that led to 25 Southwest DeKalb points.

Miller Grove outshot and outrebounded Southwest DeKalb in the first half but trailed 24-20 at halftime, in large part because of foul trouble and 17 turnovers.

Weaver, Miller Grove’s second-leading scorer (11.1 points per game) and leading rebounder (7.8), picked up her second foul less than a minute into the game. She was replaced by Sarai Blessett, who committed three fouls in the next two and a half minutes. That brought a return to the court for Weaver, who finished the half with six points but got her third foul with 2:13 to play in the second quarter. Southwest DeKalb capitalized at the free-throw line, making 10 of 14 shots compared to 3-for-6 for Miller Gove.

Miller Grove (52): Shaquandra Durden 2, Tashi Thompson 14, Katie Hunt 15, Klarissa Weaver 12, Aneifiok Udofia 4, Imani Richardson 1, Catika Brown 2, Sarai Blessett 2, Sharieka Brown, Chrystal Ezechukwu.

Southwest DeKalb (56): Davion Wingate 7, Ariel Walker 9, Daisa Alexander 4, Tynice Martin 15, Miaya Crowder 7, Darsan DeShaizer 7, Cori Bostic 2, Deja Clay 5, Calyn Kelly, Kiianna Mitchell.

20 comments Add your comment

Ms. Daniel

March 8th, 2013
10:37 pm

Congrats Lady Panthers! Coach Walton, Ms. Paul and the crew…Way to Go!!!!!!

Tucker Parent

March 8th, 2013
10:42 pm

Congrats Lady Panthers!!

Mr. Wolverine

March 8th, 2013
11:43 pm

It was a very scrappy game. Both teams played hard and on this day, SWD was the better team. Congrats Lady Panthers and Coach Walton.

Great to extend the rivalry all the way to Macon.

Great season Lady Wolverines. We will be back!


March 9th, 2013
10:13 am

These were the best two girls teams AAAAA had to offer? What a terribly played, sloppily coached & over officiated game. I don’t think there were more than two consecutive plays run without a foul being called. This was supposed to be a state championship game, not a JV scrimmage. Terrible, just terrible.

high school sports fan

March 9th, 2013
1:02 pm

@smug…you had two teams that play up tempo and pressure defense. They’ve played each other five times and know each other well. It was the kind of game to be expected with the way the two teams play.

SWD Panther Paw

March 9th, 2013
1:28 pm

smug- have your team play either SWD or Miller Grove and see what happens. They are to familiar with each other.

fan of the game

March 9th, 2013
3:14 pm

The best team in 4A & DeKalb saga comes to and end for 2012/2013. Tucker , Stephenson ,, MG and SWD settle it on the court ; with SWD the victor and MG a close second. Each team beat the other at least once……..but SWD won the four key games in the region and state tournaments. MG beat Tucker and Stephenson when it counted but not SWD.

Coach of the year………….. SWD her team was in free fall at XMAS…..the rescue deserves recognition

5 A Player of the Year? #23 SWD or Weaver or Hunt from MG? To victors the spoils go… #23 SWD

All State …. All Region ….. All 5A……..SWD #23 , Weaver, Hunt, Thompson MG.

SWD like Tucker figured out the only chance you have against the MG defensive gauntlet is to charge into it hoping for foul trouble and foul shots. They got both. Also MG prefers to play offense against straight zone not man to man or “box in one” junk defenses that Tucker and SWD used.

Three years ago no one expected MG to be a championship team. How wrong those people were. More importantly HS sports real purpose is to help develop the character and decision making process of the participants…….. Each of the MG seniors has earned an “A”".


March 9th, 2013
8:09 pm

SWD and MG played sloppy ball and way to many turnovers. I do believe it all was a result of them playing one another so many times this season. However, they have proved themselves to be the best. I take my hat off to both coaches from those two teams. I have heard so many people talk trash about MG and SWD coach and how they have no program and can’t coach. Well I say to those people, where your team rings at? Put up or shut up. Until you can do what these two lady coaches have done, shut your mouth.

MG Mom

March 9th, 2013
8:19 pm

Miller Grove and SWD are programs built from student body, community and parents. Please take notice that wevsewtbtogether at games to rally our teams on, that is why we went so far and did so well. We are not divided on the court or in the stands. We don’t have parents scattered in the stands or sitting on one side and another group sitting on another side. We don’t think our child or ourselves are better than each other and as a result of us being family, our girls treat each other like family. When you have the full support of the parents and community as one, that’s the end result.


March 9th, 2013
8:38 pm

Mm ok a few transfers help to! #32

MG Mom

March 9th, 2013
10:08 pm

Oh we’ll, sorry no one wants to transfer to your school. LOL………..


March 9th, 2013
10:56 pm

Another dekalb county championship. Congrats to both SWD and Miller Grove.

casual observer

March 9th, 2013
11:02 pm

Congrats to SWD for win. Not a fan of MG coach because of questionable integrity issues,so glad SWD won.


March 9th, 2013
11:32 pm

I guess those B-12 pills did not work this time. You guys play dirty, however the officials had your number last night. I wish Hunt, Thompson, and Weaver the best.


March 10th, 2013
6:41 am

Yeah I know lol……..ha, every school made up of student body, community, and parents! But it’s coach n kids deserve all credit. How rebounds did u have ? Lol


March 11th, 2013
7:37 am

4 state championships in 7 years. This has the makings of a dynasty. Congratulations to Coach Walton and staff along the 2013 Basketball Lady Panthers!

Let’s get one for the thumb within the next few years!!!

Mr. Wolverine

March 12th, 2013
8:32 am

@ concerned. I guess those B-12 pills did not work this time. (should be a ?) You guys play dirty, hover the officials had your number last night.

What are you talking about? And who are you for?

dekalb parent

March 13th, 2013
6:22 pm

not a fan of neither school outside of sports which is most important to me, congrats SWD! glad you all got the win though, I know for a fact the MG coach teaches her players to play dirty ( and some of her players will comply), not good, I love katie though, she plays so hard, good luck katie!!!

Stand Up

March 14th, 2013
10:36 pm

Does she play hard or does she play dirty? Which one is it? Interesting how everyone wants to down the MG coach all of a sudden. If all of this is so true, why has there not been any protesting or complaints sent to GHSA? People always looking for excuses when they can’t win.

Stand Up

March 14th, 2013
10:40 pm

And about these transfers. Transfers don’t mean crap. Just look at Tucker and Stephenson. Both those teams had transfers last year and this year. Did it make a difference? I think not. Stop complaining and give credit where credit is do. Congrats SWD, Congrats MG… Great season for all of the Dekalb county schools.