Final rankings: Norcross wins four state titles, two for school, two for city

It was a historic basketball season for Norcross, both the school and the city.

Norcross High swept the boys and girls championships in Class AAAAAA Saturday in Macon on Saturday while Norcross private schools Greater Atlanta Christian (boys) and Wesleyan (girls) also won the AA titles.

Norcross and Wesleyan are across the street from each other on Spalding Drive while GAC is about five miles south on Indian Trail Lilburn Road.

Norcross High’s sweep of the boys and girls titles was the 15th of its kind in GHSA history. Norcross also did it in 2010. But this one came three months after Norcross’ football team won its state title. Norcross became the first school in GHSA history to win the football and both basketball state championships in the same academic year.

In the boys final, Brandon Goodwin scored 22 points and had seven rebounds in a 60-48 victory over Hillgrove. Norcross’ Ricky Madison had 12 points off the bench. Hillgrove led 42-41 early in the fourth before Norcross took control. It was Norcross’ fifth boys state title in eight seasons.

Norcross’ girls beat North Gwinnett 63-42 and won for the third time in four seasons. Diamond DeShields, the Naismith national girls player of the year, scored 24 points in her final high school game. Shayla Cooper scored 20 with eight rebounds. Norcross made 20 of 32 shots while North Gwinnett made only 15 of 55.  Angie Hembree became the fourth girls coach in state history to win six state championships. She won three at Collins Hill.

In AAAAA, Miller Grove became the first boys program to win five straight state championships. Southwest DeKalb’s girls won for the fourth time in six seasons.

Eagle’s Landing’s boys won their first state championship in basketball in AAAA and ended Columbia’s run of state titles at three. Columbia’s girls are the AAAA champs.

Johnson beat Savannah in an all-Savannah AAA boys final. Johnson is the first Savannah school to win a state title since Savannah High in 1998. Johnson and Savannah moved to AAA from the highest classification this academic season after years of playing above their enrollment numbers.

The AAA girls champion is St. Pius. It was the Lady Lions’ first title since 2007.

In AA, Wesleyan’s girls won their 10th state title while GAC’s boys won their sixth.  Wesleyan coach Jan Azar became the second Georgia coach to win 10 state championships. The first was Lanier’s Selby Buck, whose last title came in 1951. GAC’s Eddie Martin is one of only eight boys coach to win six GHSA state titles. Martin won his first three at Norcross.

Class A had public and private divisions for the first time.

Private schools Greenforest Christian (boys) and St. Francis (girls) won  their first basketball state titles. They claim the final No. 1 rankings in Class A over public champions Wilkinson County (boys) and Gordon Lee (girls).

Wilkinson County’s title was the sixth for the school and coach Aaron Geter. Gordon Lee’s championship was the school’s first in basketball.

BOYS

Class AAAAAA

1. Norcross (27-6)

2. North Cobb (26-5)

3. Tift County (26-5)

4. Hillgrove (28-5)

5. Wheeler (21-9)

6. Peachtree Ridge (21-10)

7. Shiloh (24-7)

8. Archer (22-9)

9. Westlake (24-5)

10. Berkmar (18-12)

Class AAAAA

1. Miller Grove (30-3)

2. Gainesville (23-10)

3. Effingham County (27-5)

4. Mays (23-7)

5. Tucker (20-11)

6. Northside-Columbus (23-5)

7. New Manchester (21-11)

8. Stephenson (17-12)

9. Allatoona (23-7)

10. Jenkins (22-9)

Class AAAA

1. Eagle’s Landing (27-5)

2. Columbia (28-4)

3. South Atlanta (24-4)

4. Marist (21-4)

5. Jonesboro (22-5)

6. Statesboro (24-3)

7 Monroe (22-4)

8. Westover (20-5)

9. Glenn Hills (24-3)

10. Rutland (20-5)

Class AAA

1. Johnson-Savannah (26-6)

2. Savannah (28-5)

3. Buford (25-7)

4. North Hall (28-4)

5. Morgan County (23-6)

6. Woodward Academy (24-6)

7. Washington County (23-6)

8. St. Pius (22-9)

9. Cartersville (27-2)

10. Tattnall County (20-12)

Class AA

1. Greater Atlanta Christian (29-3)

2. Bleckley County (28-4)

3. Vidalia (28-2)

4. Westside-Augusta (21-4)

5. Laney (22-9)

6. Jordan (21-7)

7. Manchester (24-5)

8. Taylor County (22-8)

9. Calhoun (18-6)

10. Macon County (18-13)

Class A

1. Greenforest Christian (26-4)

2. St. Francis (24-8)

3. Aquinas (21-7)

4. Wilkinson County (29-2)

5. Wilcox County (23-5)

6. Athens Christian (24-5)

7. North Cobb Christian (23-5)

8. W.D. Mohammed (24-4)

9. Turner County (21-5)

10. Portal (22-8)

GIRLS

Class AAAAAA

1. Norcross (28-5)

2. North Gwinnett (29-2)

3. Parkview (29-1)

4. North Cobb (27-4)

5. Alpharetta (26-5)

6. Cherokee (29-2)

7. Hughes (26-3)

8. Valdosta (23-6)

9. North Forsyth (24-6)

10. Tift County (23-7)

Class AAAAA

1. Southwest DeKalb (24-8)

2. Miller Grove (26-6)

3. Tucker (26-5)

4. Forest Park (24-8)

5. Stephenson (25-6)

6. Effingham County (26-6)

7. Kell (22-3)

8. McIntosh (25-4)

9. Allatoona (18-8)

10. Osborne (22-7)

Class AAAA

1. Columbia (27-3)

2. Sandy Creek (25-7)

3. Jonesboro (26-5)

4. Mary Persons (26-3)

5. Redan (25-3)

6. Woodland-Stockbridge (27-3)

7. Cross Creek (28-1)

8. Fayette County (21-7)

9. LaGrange (22-8)

10. Marist (18-8)

Class AAA

1. St. Pius (30-3)

2. Buford (25-5)

3. Dawson County (27-6)

4. Chapel Hill (27-4)

5. Southwest-Macon (23-6)

6. Washington County (27-2)

7. Beach (25-4)

8. Decatur (23-8)

9. North Oconee (27-3)

10. Sonoraville (27-2)

Class AA

1. Wesleyan (28-4)

2. Laney (30-1)

3. Calhoun (26-2)

4. Kendrick (30-1)

5. Thomasville (26-3)

6. Pelham (25-5)

7. Greater Atlanta Christian (20-8)

8. Lovett (16-13)

9. Bleckley County (24-7)

10. Dublin (23-6)

Class A

1. St. Francis (24-8)

2. SW Atlanta Christian (24-8)

3. Gordon Lee (24-7)

4. Randolph-Clay (29-3)

5. Darlington (21-8)

6. Holy Innocents’ (24-6)

7. Towns County (26-5)

8. Calvary Day (26-4)

9. George Walton Academy (24-5)

10. Wilkinson County (23-8)

38 comments Add your comment

Hubert Green

March 10th, 2013
3:36 pm

Kentucky has it right: one state champion; great game today between Ballard and Madison Central; Madison Central was down 5 with 48 seconds to play and stole the ball and hit a three to win it. Georgia’s version is just too watered down to be very meaningful with 7 divisions.

gakat1

March 10th, 2013
5:05 pm

Having 7 classes is a true joke for basketball. Ky has it right, one winner. They have one small school champion decided in early February and those teams are also eligible to win the big one in March. In Georgia, it may just be best to give all schools a trophy and they play ONE tourney to decide the real champion.

I saw, in person, all 14 champs in Macon. What should now be a SUPER champ game with the best 4 boys and girls team in a real championship showdown. Is there a snowballs chance the GHSA will ever do this?? Doubt it, what say you??

Greenforest can play with anybody, Norcross, Eagles Landing and any other boys team would be a big time tourney, for example.

Big Cat

March 10th, 2013
7:47 pm

The GHSA will have to be replaced before there is any meaningful change in this state. The metro area private schools and and elite programs appear to be their main focus and the remaining programs around the state may need to consider forming their own high school association. Otherwise, expect more of the same!

Bleed Red

March 10th, 2013
8:14 pm

Dude you have lost your mine There is no comparison to kentucky population to Ga in High schools yea one state champion wow really be like have high school Miami Heat lol

Hubert Green

March 10th, 2013
8:27 pm

@Bleed Red; there were 21,000 at Rupp Arena today. Making the Sweet 16 in Kentucky means something. Indiana also used to have just one champions. At least go to three classes and not 7.

Eagles Fans

March 10th, 2013
8:55 pm

Illinois is the same as Kentucky, it’s one team from the state at the end of the day that gets to say they are the champion of the state not just the city or a class, with the way things are now it does seem to be watered down a bit

DekalbJuggernaut

March 10th, 2013
9:15 pm

@AJC Why is there so much of this article centered around norcross/gac/wesleyan and a sentence each for basically everyone else including Miller Grove who has placed themselves in the record books of GHSA and probably will be there with their record of 5 STRAIGHT Titles for a VERY, VERY long time. Come on! Don’t downplay that PLEASE!!!

BullDawg Rick

March 11th, 2013
2:03 am

DeKalb-
Maybe it’s because Gwinnett plays the best sports top to bottom at the highest level to AA in the state in all sports!!

Gwinnett is Dekalb 25+ years ago…

Dominating!!

Congratulations to Norcross on your historic feat!!

Manny fresh

March 11th, 2013
5:57 am

Still don’t understand how Columbia is #2 when clearly south atlanta beat them not once but twice the rankings are a joke. I mean how long they going to keep hating on city schools. I mean I know we don’t have the best talent like dekalb and Gwinnett but dat doesn’t mean you gotta keep putting us down all the time. That’s ludachris!!!

SWD Panther Paw

March 11th, 2013
7:39 am

DekalbJuggernaut I agree with you. Dekalb/Decatur has just as much as Gwinnett/Norcross.

Miller Grove(boys) – located in Lithonia. 5 straight championships never been done before.
Greenforest Christian(boys) – located in Decatur

SWD(girls) – located in Decatur. 4 championships in 6 years. Played in championship game 5 out of 6 years. Lost to Miller Grove(girls) in the other
Columbia(girls) – located in Decatur. 3 championships in 4 years.
St. Pius(girls) – Located in Dunwoody

We go toe to toe with Gwinnett but the writer chose to highlight Gwinnett. It’s to be expected but the Dekalb resume can’t be denied.

Ernest

March 11th, 2013
8:12 am

SWD Panther Paw, you beat me to the punch! When you consider how close SWD, Greenforest, Columbia, and Miller Grove are to each other, it is truly amazing to have 4 championship teams from the same neighborhood. Miller Grove and Columbia had both boys and girls in the championship game. St. Pius is a few miles away but is still in DeKalb County. I am just as proud of them as I am the schools in my neighborhood.

Hopefully Todd will have a separate article highlighting this accomplishment. SACs may be concerned about our school board members dysfunction but that did not affect the coaches and teams in DeKalb County.

Joe B. Fox

March 11th, 2013
8:42 am

@SWD Panther Paw – You re absolutely right. DeKalb is just as good as Gwinnett; the schools are aa lot smaller though. One thing – St. Pius is not in Dunwoody. It’s technically in Atlanta, but closer to Chamble.

John

March 11th, 2013
8:59 am

If the non metro schools break off and form their own association, there will never be a state champion in any sport. Georgia tried the concept in the early 1970s when there were four classes and the champions of those four classes met for a single state title. There was very little fan interest and the results were ugly. Palmetto, the south Fulton County school that was the Class A champion lost in a one sided (I think the final score was 100-60) semifinal. Eliminate the separate public and private divisions in Class A and keep the rest the same.

John

March 11th, 2013
9:03 am

Illinois is not like Kentucky. There are four classes in Illinois. Classes 1A and 2A held their championship games Saturday and Classes 3A and 4A hold their state title games this Saturday.

Matt

March 11th, 2013
9:27 am

I don’t believe Norcross was first to win football and basketball in same academic year, I believe that was done in the 1988-1989 academic year when Clinch County won football, basketball, and baseball all in the same year. Triple Crown is what that is called. I think I’m right on this but maybe someone from the AJC knows different.

John

March 11th, 2013
9:37 am

Clinch County did win those championships. However, the article stated that Norcross was the first to win state titles in football and boys and girls basketball in the same academic year. That is the difference.

Matt

March 11th, 2013
9:45 am

You are correct John. Thanks for pointing that out to me. Congrats Norcross on a phenomonal year!

High 5

March 11th, 2013
10:54 am

The AJC has more subscribers in Gwinnett Co. so of course they are going to place more emphasis on what Gwinnett Co. schools do! Any accomplishments from Atlanta, Dekalb or Clayton will be met with limited fan fare! ECONOMICS!

fan of the game

March 11th, 2013
11:42 am

I agree with the six divisions by school size. Although driven by football realities , bigger schools, will almost always have the better teams…..the six classes serve to generate local interest. Until the region / state tournaments started did anyone in dekalb care about effingham county or vice versa?

I do think there should be a few mid season shoot outs………..gwinett vs dekalb etc….just for fun. If the good teams from the south played good teams from the north at mid season they might be better prepared at tournament time.

Mark

March 11th, 2013
11:47 am

They have the largest recruiting budget. High school sports is a joke in this state with all the “permissive” transfers, so we can build all these super teams that have no reflection of the community we live in.

Ernest

March 11th, 2013
12:19 pm

High 5, not to be argumentative but the AJC gets more online traffic from DeKalb residents than any other county. Have you sent the hit rate on blogs about DeKalb schools? :)

I agree with some county vs. county tournaments in the metro area as fundraisers. I believe there would be high interest in something like that.

athensbball

March 11th, 2013
12:58 pm

dang. no respect still for athens christian? Made it to the Final 4 again…. Third Final 4 in the last 4 years. beat the #1 team in the state in North Cobb Christian, lost to the state champ Greenforest by 5 points (not by 15 like st francis) and still end up 6th. Thanks for the bulletin board material AJC! Go Eagles!

SGT CHRIS

March 11th, 2013
2:58 pm

With the garbage i saw on the football field, I would say that basketball is the only saving grace in the commonwealth of kentucky.

black12

March 11th, 2013
3:19 pm

@athens, we never agree on much. But I am with you on this one. I would at least put AC at #3 or #4. But hey, great season!!!!

athensbball

March 11th, 2013
3:31 pm

thanks. its ok. we will use it as fuel for next year. hopefully we grow over the summer haha

Bremen Blue Devil

March 11th, 2013
4:07 pm

I played against Clinch County in the 1989 State Championship Baseball Game. ALthough we gave the deciding game away 4-3 on our home field, AJ Cooper from Clinch was unbelievable.
Starting QB, Starting PG, SS & P on about 12 state championship teams. Their Bball team didnt have a starter over 5.11.. Wonder what happened to him?

COBB

March 11th, 2013
7:39 pm

Greenforest garbage. They got lucky and caught Saint Francis on off day. Francis should have won. The mental lapse in r4th cause them.

Hubert Green

March 11th, 2013
11:19 pm

In case some of you were wondering just how good last year’s Milton team was, Milton beat Lone Peak 70-42 to win the Beach Ball; adding one new player, Lone Peak is the #1 public school in the USA.

James

March 11th, 2013
11:23 pm

Funny, i posted the four titles that went to the city of Norcross, a few minutes after they won Saturday night.

James

March 11th, 2013
11:42 pm

Mr. Green, the year Milton beat Lone Peak, the year after Royal, Scott, Parker and Loyd graduated in 2011 they reloaded with at least 2 players that came in as seniors. When those 2 graduated along with S. Johnson and E. Nolte, they had 3 new players ready for this year. Once Boyd was let go and they were denied to play in the post season all 3 went their separate ways and even J. Patterson bolted and ended up at Wheeler. BTW those 2 players were Charles Mann and Tevin Glass, on year wonders at Milton.

liberalefty

March 12th, 2013
12:40 am

too many champs…kentucky HAS ONE GIRL and one boy champ…GEorgia could divide the state into 16 regions…each region champ goes to state{peferably PHILLIPS ARENA, or Georgia Tech or at UGA}, anywhere but that dark barn in MACON….this state has a lot of talent, too bad bball is treated like a stepchild…

Matt

March 12th, 2013
9:37 am

Having 6 different classes is not the problem in Georgia. The problem in Georgia is there is no longer a focus on the communities. To much recruiting by North Ga. has killed high school sports in this state. Its time the GHSA starts punishing the schools that recruit. In the southern part of the state we have kids who play together from the time they are able to walk. In North Ga. you have teams made up of kids who don’t even know each other because they are steady “transferring” from one school to the other. The Clinch team in 88-89 didn’t recruit, the Charlton Co. football team from 2006-2008 didn’t recruit, and the Appling Co. baseball team last year didn’t recruit. Thats just a few examples. Its time to even the playing field and then you will see more competive games from all over the state.

NoDistrictLinesInDekalb

March 12th, 2013
12:27 pm

@MATT, Amen one year sit out rule that would certainly slow things down. Up here the public schools run wild. MLK starting fb was Stephenson’s the year before is that crazy or what? If the parents really cared they would of moved out of Dekalb for non sports reasons! Off the chain in Dekalb. Dunwoody rb leaves goes to Tucker what was that about. The big football Dekalb schools take a lot of talent from the smaller schools.By smaller I mean not as good football schools not enrollment.
Basketball there are some offenders in Cobb and Fulton but GHSA has no money to go after them. Milton basically said ok and didnt fight it but otherwise lawyers and court time cost money.
Now SGa is no angel qb from Cairo’s football team 2 years ago transferred from another his senior year.
So what is the answer the county’s themselves won’t do anything because of the playoff money and speaking of money I agree Macon gym is no place to hold a final ! It might have been ok for Wrestling Starcade back in the 80’s but my god. 7 bucks to park, 1 hot dog and 1 coke (worst I have had in sometime) 10 bucks…Come on that food at any other gym in the state is 3 bucks at most..So much for trying to hold a final in a middle of the state location… Sorry middle Georgia time to put money in that place. Maybe you can pick up some rubble from the Ga Dome once it has been knocked down and call it the new and improve Macon Centreplex Coliseum .

Marcus Jones

March 12th, 2013
12:33 pm

Gerogia isn’t big enough to have this many classes….lol. I think 4 classes at the most would be sufficient. While it is impressive, I think certain teams have a cake walk to the finals. In Ohio’s biggest classification you have to go 7-0 in the post season to win it. Here, there are only 32 teams competing for the AAAAAA title! C’mon son!

Bigger fish in the deep end

March 12th, 2013
12:38 pm

Why are there not separate classes in swimming? Why should A have to swim against AAAA? This is just not fair would it really take that much more time in the meet? We do have computers nowadays to help out with this. Class AA team against 1,800 student school where is the outrage here?

Big Cat

March 12th, 2013
8:57 pm

@ John. I don’t really understand your point. I suggested a separate association that crowned it’s own champion. Also, Palmetto H.S. never won a state championship in basketball but you’re right about the Tournament of Champions which were held in 1973 and 1974. The state champion in each class competed (AAA, AA, A, B) and it generated very little fan interest but there were some great teams in those tournaments! However, that was around 40 years ago and may be time to try it again.

Panther 92

March 13th, 2013
10:38 am

Clinch County won the Triple Crown in 88-89 and 91-92. There was no other athlete like AC Cooper and Fred Edmondson. They were just natural athletes at every sport. I am proud to have been on their team. I beleive AC owns a convenient store and car wash there in Homerville. That first baseman from Bremen on the 88-89 team was unreal. Never seen anyone that small hit that far…had a great glove and arm as well.

do-wop

March 14th, 2013
7:56 am

You can’t say who’s the best. Anthony Flanigan was one of ,if not, the best ever. That kid had a sprained right (dominate hand) wrist and lit Therrell up for 25 with his left hand , and NO 3pt line. 2staes in BBall ,Qb state championship on the road as well.