DeKalb County poised to dominate in girls basketball (again)

DeKalb County has dominated girls basketball lately in the state’s second-largest classification, winning eight championships in the past 10 years.

Last season, Southwest DeKalb and Miller Grove played an all-DeKalb state final for the second consecutive season. Miller Grove won the three regular-season meetings, but Southwest DeKalb won in the region championship game and the state final to claim its fourth title in six years. In 2012, Miller Grove won to complete a boys/girls sweep of the championships.

The county’s dominance goes back to 2004, when St. Pius claimed its first of three titles in four seasons. During the 10-season run, DeKalb’s championships have come from St. Pius (2004, 2006, 2007), Southwest DeKalb (2008, 2009, 2010, 2013) and Miller Grove (2012). Only Etowah in 2005 and Fayette County in 2011 have taken the championship away from DeKalb.

Look for this year to be no different. In a preseason poll produced by Score Atlanta last week, four of the top five girls teams in Class AAAAA are DeKalb County schools, led by Southwest DeKalb at No. 1.

Here are five teams to watch this season:

*Southwest DeKalb: The Panthers will be led again this season by Tynice “Nicole” Martin. As a sophomore last season, Martin was second-team all-state and first-team all-DeKalb. She finished third in the county in scoring (16.7 points per game) and second in rebounding (10.3) and was the only DeKalb player to average a double-double. The Panthers also return junior Davion Wingate, who averaged 10.3 points and was among the top 10 in the county in 3-point percentage.

*Miller Grove: Coach Renee Breedlove has turned the Wolverines into one of the state’s top programs, and they are ranked No. 5 in the preseason poll. The task this season will be replacing a strong group of graduated seniors that included Tashi Thompson (13.1 points per game), Klarissa Weaver (11.2 points, 7.8 rebounds) and Katie Hunt (9.5 points).

*Tucker: The Tigers, ranked No. 2 in the preseason, are led by Erykah Davenport, a first-team all-state player as a junior last season, when she averaged 14.8 points and 7.3 rebounds. The Tigers also return Naima Jackson, an honorable mention selection in DeKalb. Tucker, which lost to Miller Grove in the quarterfinals, faces defending AAAAAA champion Norcross in a scrimmage on Thursday.

*Kell: Much like Miller Grove, the Longhorns will have a bit of rebuilding to do this season after losing Naomi Stuger, China Henderson and Erin McKinney (graduated) as well as Caliya Robinson (transfer). The Longhorns were ranked No. 1 entering the state tournament last season but lost to DeKalb school Stephenson in the first round.

*Forest Park: The leader for the Panthers will be senior guard Kayla Potts, who missed more than a year with a knee injury. Forest Park was 8-6 without her last season but went 16-2 after her return in January. Potts scored a game-high 19 points in a 43-41 loss to Southwest DeKalb in the state semifinals. It was the closest game the eventual champions had during the tournament.

*Other teams to watch: Stephenson, Allatoona, Osborne, Effingham County, Cedar Shoals, McIntosh, Creekview, Flowery Branch

12 comments Add your comment

Redan Lady Raiders

November 12th, 2013
3:25 pm

Watch out for the raiders. They have their four leading scorers returning and they are all seniors. Look for them to make some noise this year. That loss to Sandy Creek in the playoffs made them hungry to get get back to the dance this year and take it even further.

TOP TIGER

November 12th, 2013
4:01 pm

This is Tucker Tigers year we got all ours starter back from last year. The girls work pretty hard last year and we had 2 ladies got hurt from last year that will be back this year so 5AAAAA you better get ready. WE ARE TUCKER Erykah and the girls are going to bring it.

MIGHTY LION KING

November 12th, 2013
4:34 pm

never understood why MLK has such a top program in football but not as strong in basketball!!

LION NATION/ THE DOMINATION!!!!

TOP TIGER

November 12th, 2013
5:15 pm

@Mighty Lion King I think your boys team will do well this year, Greg King is a beast.

MIGHTY LION KING

November 12th, 2013
7:07 pm

@ TOP TIGER- I hope so, its not often that i get reports on our basketball team that we our doing well, needless to say i barely make it to any of the games!! Football is my favorite sport and judt so happens KING a strong majority of the time exceeds in that!!!!

LION NATION/ THE DOMINATION!!!!!

Jolly Rogers

November 13th, 2013
2:52 pm

There is a storm forming down 20 West AAAAA…Tucker, MLKing,SWD and all others. Watch out for Mays. They should be the Region Champs in football, and they are going to make someone very unhappy this basketball season.

TOP TIGER

November 13th, 2013
3:43 pm

@Mighty Lion King hey good luck this weekend we in DeKalb County know you guys are going to bring G-ville down. That have no defense.

TOP TIGER

November 13th, 2013
3:48 pm

@jolly rogers we know Mays have new coaches over there from DEKALB COUNTY but we are ready to face Mays. I just hope Mays is ready. LOL This is a Tiger year so get ready for the ride. WE ARE TUCKER

High 5

November 14th, 2013
2:31 am

With the exception of Miller Grove and Tucker, why do Dekalb Co. schools have the worst facilities?

Jolly Rogers

November 14th, 2013
1:36 pm

Top Tiger…I admire your over confidence in your team..I hope you guys can be 1 of the 4 teams going to state this year, I’d hate for you to be the region tournament host sight and still not make it(talk about adding pressure..lol)…But lets be real this region is tough. You don’t have anything that the other teams in your region don’t have. I give you credit, you have a good team, but so does SWD, Stephenson, not so much Millergrove anymore, but yes, Mays is going to be in that mix. There will be no clear cut best this year in this region, every game will be a battle. just be mindful of your comments.. Be careful what you ask for. Your always one ACL or MCL away from another sad season.
While the Football team has won state, the boys have a championship, the girls…ummm might want to lay off the trash talk.

SWD Panther Paw

November 15th, 2013
7:48 am

The SWD girls(2013 5A champ) and Columbia girls(2013 4A Champ) squared off last night in a fundraiser game. SWD won by 20. There needs to be a story done on Coach Walton(SWD coach). She has a great program. 4 championships in 6 years. She has sent alot of girls to D-1 programs over the years.

ol skool

November 15th, 2013
12:57 pm

Chip you forgot Stephenson girls State Championships in 2004 and 2008. Come on Chip!!!