The storylines are plentiful for five DeKalb County high school basketball teams representing three schools as they play for state titles in Macon on Thursday and Friday.
The quest for state titles begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday at the Macon Centreplex as the No. 1 ranked Columbia Lady Eagles (26-3) take on Sandy Creek (25-6) for the Class AAAA girls' state title.
The Lady Eagles are looking to become just the second DeKalb girls' basketball program to win three state titles. Columbia won the Class AAA state title in 2010 and 2012 and with a victory against Sandy Creek would join Southwest DeKalb (2008-2010) as the only DeKalb girls' programs with three state titles.
Coach Chantay Frost's team's trip to the Class AAAA title game was almost stopped in the semifinals when Jonesboro led by as much as 14 points and by 11 (35-24) heading into the fourth quarter at Fort Valley State University's HPE Arena last Saturday. Yaktavia Hickson and Miah Spencer led a big fourth quarter rally as the Lady Eagles pulled out a
Sandy Creek, the Region 5 No. 4 seed, has played all four state playoff games away from home and has upset Madison County, No. 8 Marist, No. 3 Redan and No.6 Mary Persons to reach the finals.
The No. 3 ranked Columbia Eagles (28-3) go for their fourth consecutive state title against No. 1 ranked Eagle's Landing (26-5) at 8:45 p.m. on Thursday at the Centreplex.
First year Columbia head coach Kerry Sandifer's team defeated No. 6 Statesboro 69-42 in the semifinals at Fort Valley State to advance to its fourth consecutive title game. The Eagles won the past three (2010-2012) Class AAA state titles and are looking to join Miller Grove as the only DeKalb boys' team to win four consecutive state titles. Columbia has won five titles in seven years including the 2006 and 2008 Class AAAA championships.
Eagle's Landing defeated Albany (39-13, lowest scoring playoff game), Perry, No. 8 Westover and No. 2 South Atlanta (77-51 in semifinals) to advance to the championship. The two teams met in the Class AAA semifinals in 2011 and 2012 with Columbia winning both games on the way to state titles.
Wins by both Columbia teams would give the school a sweep of basketball state titles for the third time in four seasons. Columbia was the first DeKalb school to sweep both titles in 2010.
The No. 3 ranked Miller Grove Lady Wolverines (26-5) and No. 4 ranked Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers (23-8) meet in a state championship game for the second consecutive season as they play for the Class AAAAA girls' state title at 7 p.m. on Friday (March 8).
The two teams played for the Class AAAA title one year ago with Miller Grove coming out on top 46-39. In four previous meetings this season Miller Grove came out on top in three while Southwest DeKalb won the Region 6-AAAAA title match heading into the state playoffs.
Miller Grove is vying for its second consecutive state title under coach Renee Breedlove and a win by the Lady Wolverines coupled with another win by the Wolverines in the Class AAAAA boys' title game would give the school a two-year sweep of state titles.
Miller Grove defeated Pope, No. 9 Allatoona, No. 2 Tucker and Effingham County (49-33 in semifinals) to advance to their second consecutive championship game.
Southwest DeKalb is going for DeKalb Schools' record for a girls'
basketball program. A win would give Southwest its fourth state title under Coach Kathy Walton having won three consecutive titles from 2008 to 2010.
The Lady Panthers defeated Sprayberry, Villa Rica, No. 7 Stephenson and No. 8 Forest Park (43-41 in semifinals) to advance to their second consecutive title game and fifth in six seasons under the direction of Walton.
The No. 1 ranked Miller Grove Wolverines (29-3) are going for a state record fifth consecutive state championship as they take on No. 8 ranked Gainesville (23-9) in the Class AAAAA boys' state title game at 8:45 p.m. on Friday at the Centreplex in Macon.
Coach Sharman White's squad defeated Sequoyah, Villa Rica, No. 6 Tucker and No. 3 Northside (72-38 in semifinals) to reach its fifth consecutive state championship game.
Gainesville defeated Hiram, No. 5 Mays, New Manchester and No. 2 Effingham County (63-62 in semifinals) by a total of seven points to reach the championship game.
DEKALB STATE PLAYOFF BASKETBALL SCHEDULE State Championship Games at Macon Centreplex Thursday, March 7 Class AAAA Girls Columbia (26-3) vs. Sandy Creek (25-6), 7 p.m.
Boys Columbia (28-3) vs. Eagles' Landing (25-5), 8:45 p.m.
Friday, March 8
Miller Grove (26-5) vs. SW DeKalb (23-8), 7 p.m.
Miller Grove (28-3) vs. Gainesville (23-9), 8:45 p.m.