DECATUR, Ga. -- Senior guard Tahj Shamsid-Deen scored 24 points to lead the No. 3 ranked Columbia Eagles to a 50-41 victory over the No. 4 Marist War Eagles in Class AAAA quarterfinal action at Columbia on Wednesday.
The Eagles improved to 27-3 on the season with their third victory over Marist (23-5) this season the first two wins were by a total of three points.
Shamsid-Deen served notice early helping Columbia to a 7-0 lead with a pull up jumper and three-pointer set up by a screen by Jordan Anderson with 4:26 gone in the first quarter.
He added 10 points in the second quarter including a pair of three pointers as the lead went to 19-8 before Marist cut it to 19-15 at the half.
A big key to the win was the Eagles' defense limiting Georgia Tech signee Quinton Stephens to just 10 points and holding guard Bobby Perez scoreless. The pair had teamed up for 35 points in the last meeting, a tough 52-50 overtime win for the Eagles.
Columbia put together another good defensive effort in the third quarter after an early basket by Cam Wiley holding Marist to just seven points.
Kyle Wallace's three-pointer with 4:50 to play in the third quarter pushed the lead back out to 9 at 26-17.
A Marist turnover with 5.5 seconds left in the period allowed Columbia to inbound the basketball with Brice Brown dribbling through traffic, crossing the half court line and firing a line drive shot that stripped the net sending the Eagles into the fourth quarter with a 33-22 lead.
Marist would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way as Shamsid-Deen hit five of six free throws and dished out a pair of nice assist to Anderson and Keshawn Warren for easy baskets after spreading the floor to run the clock.
The Eagles, who won the past three Class AAA state tiles and five state titles in the past seven seasons, move on to the Final Four for the eighth consecutive season. Columbia faces No. 6 ranked Statesboro (26-3), a 60-58 winner over No. 10 Rutland on Wednesday, at 5:30 p.m. in the Class AAAA state semifinals on Saturday at Fort Valley State.
DEKALB STATE PLAYOFF BASKETBALL RESULTS
Wednesday, Feb. 27
Columbia (27-3) 50, Marist (23-5) 41
Tuesday, Feb. 26
SW DeKalb (22-8) 67, Stephenson (25-6) 60, season over Miller Grove (25-5) 50, Tucker (25-5) 40, season over
Sandy Creek (24-6) 50, Redan (25-3) 47, season over Columbia (25-3) 68, River Ridge (22-9) 27
Miller Grove (28-3) 60, Tucker (20-10) 55
DEKALB STATE PLAYOFF BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Saturday, Mar. 2 Boys Class AAAAA at Kennesaw State University Miller Grove (28-3) vs. Northside-Columbus (23-4), 8:30 p.m.
Class AAAA at Fort Valley State University Columbia (26-3) vs. Statesboro (26-3), 5:30 p.m.
Class AAAAA at Kennesaw State University Miller Grove (25-5) vs. Effingham Co. (26-5), 4 p.m.
SW DeKalb (22-8) vs. Forest Park (24-7), 7 p.m.
Class AAAA at Fort Valley State University Columbia (25-3) vs. Jonesboro (26-4), 7 p.m.