A 29-point loss last time out against the No. 1 ranked Lithonia Bulldogs did not seem to bother the Columbia Eagles as they hit 10 of 14 free throws in the final 1:20 to seal an 82-68 win on Friday night to advance to the Region 5-5A championship game at Arabia Mountain on Saturday.
Devin Longstreet’s dunk off a steal by Kawasiki Ricks put the Eagles up 72-62 with 1:56 to play in the game. Lithonia answered with two quick baskets by Franklin Champion to cut the lead to 72-66 as the clocked ticked down to 1:16 remaining.
Nigel Emile hit four consecutive free throws with under a minute to play and Julius Coleman and Ricks each hit two of two from the line in the final 29 seconds to close the win.
Ricks finished with 20 points to lead the Eagles (16-10) and was joined in double figures by Devin Longstreet (15 points, 9 rebounds), Kenneth Hardaway (13 points) and D’Kwon Harris (10 points, 9 rebounds). Lithonia (24-2) got a game-high 32 points from Eric Gaines and Franklin Champion added 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Columbia, the No. 4 seed, takes on No. 3 seeded Southwest DeKalb (15-12), which defeated No. 2 seed Miller Grove (18-10) 41-39 in a thriller earlier in the evening, in the 8:30 pm championship game on Saturday.
The Panthers broke a 39-39 tie with 34 seconds left on a Jarrett Walton offensive rebound for a basket for the 41-39 lead. Miller Grove had a three-pointer bounce off the rim at the buzzer.
Kourtney Forest had 12 points and Jarett Walton added 11 to lead Southwest DeKalb. Zyair Greene hit for 12 points, Tyreik Boyd 11 points and Jamarcus Glover added 10 points and 9 boards. Miller Grove and Lithonia meet in the boys’ consolation game at 5:30 pm.
In the first girls’ semifinal at Arabia Mountain, the hosts Lady Rams (22-4) defeated Columbia (14-9) 52-39 to advance to the finals on Saturday.
Arabia Mountain used a 10-0 run that began late in the second quarter and spilled over into the first three minutes of the third period to take control of the game against Columbia extending a 17-16 lead to 27-16. Another 8-0 run led by Jordan Ware’s six points pushed the lead out to 39-21 heading into the fourth quarter.
Ke’Andrea Middlebrooks had a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double to lead Arabia Mountain in the win and teammate Jordyn Ward added 13 points and 7 rebounds.
Arabia Mountain faces No. 1 seed Southwest DeKalb (20-6), a 56-31 winner over No. 5 seed Lithonia (9-15), in the second semifinal of the night. The Lady Panthers led 30-9 at the half behind the play of Jayla Kimbrough (8 points) and Nya Bostic’s six points.
Nya Bostic and Ward tied with 12 points each in the game for Southwest DeKalb with teammate Adrienne Brownlee added 10 rebounds.
The No. 1 ranked Tucker Tigers (23-3) advanced to the finals at Lovejoy with a 60-52 win over the Stephenson Jaguars (16-10).
Terrance Edwards led the way with 33 points and David Giddins added 13. Edwin Walker scored a team-high 15 points to lead the Jaguars.
Stephenson will face Morrow (15-12) in the boys’ consolation game at 2:30 pm. Tucker plays at 5:30 pm against Lovejoy.
The Stephenson Lady Jaguars (18-9) dropped a 61-41 decision to Forest Park (22-5) and meet up with Mt. Zion (17-9) at 1:00 pm.
The Cedar Grove Lady Saints (18-5) got past Westminster (20-7) 47-42 to capture the Region 5-3A crown at Lovett on Friday night. Cedar Grove earns the No. 1 seed and a host role next Friday night.
The Stone Mountain Lady Pirates (10-15) defeated Pace Academy (12-15) 28-17 to earn the No. 3 seed out of 5-3A. Lovett (20-7) ran off to a 60-40 win over Cedar Grove to earn the boys’No.3 seed going into the playoffs.
The Lakeside Lady Vikings fell to the No. 4 seed coming out of Region 7-7A with a 58-36 loss to Parkview on Friday night. It will be the Lady Vikings’ first playoff appearance since 2005.
The Druid Hills Lady Red Devils and Red Devils both dropped their consolation games on Friday night at McDonough to end up as No. 4 seeds heading into the state playoffs.
The Lady Red Devils (14-14) fell 55-50 in a hard-fought loss to Woodward Academy (25-3) in the girls’ game will the Red Devils (13-15) fell 57-46 to North Clayton.
DCSD REGION TOURNAMENT RESULTS
Friday, Feb. 7
Region 7-7A at Norcross
Parkview (16-11) 58, Lakeside (11-12) 36
Region 4-6A at Lovejoy
Forest Park (22-5) 61, Stephenson (18-9) 41
Tucker (23-3) 60, Stephenson (16-10) 52
Region 5-5A at Arabia Mountain
Arabia Mountain (22-4) 52, Columbia (14-9) 39
SW DeKalb (20-6) 56, Lithonia (9-15) 31
SW DeKalb (15-12) 41, Miller Grove (18-10) 39
Columbia (16-10) 82, Lithonia (24-2) 68
Region 4-4A at McDonough
North Clayton (18-9) 57, Druid Hills (13-15) 46
Woodward (25-3) 55, Druid Hills (14-14) 50
Region 5-3A at Lovett
Stone Mountain (10-15) 28, Pace (12-15) 17
Cedar Grove (18-5) 47, Westminster (20-7) 42
Lovett (20-7) 60, Cedar Grove (6-18) 40
DCSD REGION TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
Saturday, Feb. 8
Region 4-6A at Lovejoy
Stephenson (18-9) vs. Mt. Zion (17-9), 1:00 pm
Stephenson (16-10) vs. Morrow (15-12), 2:30 pm
Tucker (23-3) vs. Lovejoy (17-8), 5:30 pm
Region 5-5A at Arabia Mountain
Columbia (14-9) vs. Lithonia (9-15), 4:00 pm
Miller Grove (18-10) vs. Lithonia (24-2), 5:30 pm
SW DeKalb (20-6) vs. Arabia Mountain (22-4), 7:00 pm
SW DeKalb (15-12) vs. Columbia (16-10), 8:30 pm
Source: DCSD Athletics