No. 1 Ranked Lithonia Cruises Past Columbia 68-39 for 22nd Win

Lithonia's Franklin Champion (with ball) flies to the basket against Columbia's Devin Longstreet (24) and Nigel Emile (25) during the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs big win. (Photo by Mark Brock)

Lithonia’s Franklin Champion (with ball) flies to the basket against Columbia’s Devin Longstreet (24) and Nigel Emile (25) during the No. 1 ranked Bulldogs big win. (Photo by Mark Brock)

Franklin Champion had a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double to lead the No. 1 ranked Lithonia Bulldogs past the Columbia Eagles 68-39 at Lithonia Friday night to improve to 22-1 on the season.

Senior All-State player Eric Gaines got the Bulldogs started with a three-pointer to open the game and hit for the first seven points as Lithonia jumped out to a quick 7-0 advantage.

Lithonia (22-1, 10-0) led 17-4 following a Champion three-pointer with 52 seconds left in the opening frame before the Eagles got their first basket on a layup by DaQuavius Harrison to make it a 17-6 Lithonia lead heading into the second quarter.

An 11-4 run by the Bulldogs to open the second quarter including two three-pointers by Zephaniah Corker on assists by Gaines. Gaines also inbounded the ball to Champion under the basket for a dunk with 5:01 left in the half for the 18-point lead (28-10).

Three baskets by Columbia’ Devin Longstreet started an 11-2 run by the Eagles (13-8, 6-4) capped by a Nigel Emile three and an offensive rebound for a basket by Lorenzo Wilkerson as the lead fell to 30-21. It would be as close as the Eagles would get the rest of the way.

Raheem Swain’s jumper with 13 seconds left in the half completed a 5-0 run by the Bulldogs to give them a 35-21 lead at the break.

Champion would score nine points in the first five minutes of the second half, including a pair of three-point plays, to push the Bulldogs out to a 20-point advantage (48-28). A Gaines three-pointer and a drive to the basket by Swain to end the third quarter made it a 55-32.

Columbia would go 6:10 without a point falling behind 65-32 on a Javontae Jackson offensive put back with 4:14 remaining in the game. Julius Coleman who had scored Columbia’s last basket on a three-pointer with 1:49 left in the third quarter got the Eagles on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter with another trey to break the drought.

Joining Champion in double figures for the Bulldogs were Gaines with 13 points and Swain with 12. Devin Longstreet led the Eagles with 12 points in the game.

Columbia's Daija Carr (15) lines up for a three-poionter as Zaryana Mitchell (12) defends. during first half acdtion of Columbia's double-overtime win. (Photo by Mark Brock)

Columbia’s Daija Carr (15) lines up for a three-poionter as Zaryana Mitchell (12) defends. during first half acdtion of Columbia’s double-overtime win. (Photo by Mark Brock)

(G) Columbia 52, Lithonia 47 (2 OT)
The girls’ game to open the night was a two-overtime thriller finished off by Columbia’s Daija Carr who hit three of four free throws in the second overtime to seal the 52-47 win over Lithonia.

The two teams were tied at 47-47 heading into the second overtime and both committed early turnovers. The Lithonia turnover was turned into a 49-47 advantage Columbia as Elise Harden stole the ball and laid it up with 3:17 to play in the overtime.

Carr would hit one of two free throws with 2:41 to play and then add two more with 34 seconds remaining to close out the game as the Lady Bulldogs (8-12, 4-6) went scoreless in the final four minutes.

Columbia (10-8, 7-3) trailed by as much as six points in the third quarter before India Terrell pretty much took over the game scoring six points on daring drives to the basket, but still Columbia trailed 43-40 with 1:07 to play. Lithonia held the lead behind two free throws by Zaryana Mitchell and three of four from the line by MyKayla Spires.

Terrell, who would foul out in the first overtime, drove the lane for another layup and drew the foul to pull Columbia within one point (45-44) with 7.9 seconds to play in the game. She headed to the free throw line and calmly knocked down the free throw to send the game into overtime.

Carr hit two free throws with 2:21 left in the first overtime to give Columbia a 47-45 lead. Spires followed with 21 seconds to play hitting a pair of free throws to send the game into the second overtime.

Trailing 21-16 at the half, Lithonia outscored Columbia 22-11 in the third quarter behind the three-point shooting of Laila Williams. Williams hit three from behind the arc in the period, including a step-back, pull-up three at the buzzer to make it 38-32 with a quarter to play.

Terrell finished with a game-high 19 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to lead Columbia while Carr hit for 17 points and Elise Harden grabbed 15 rebounds. Laila Williams had a team high 14 points to lead Lithonia while Mitchell added 11 points. Alivia Mathis had 12 rebounds and Diamond Jones added 11 for the Lady Bulldogs.

Source: DCSD Athletics

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