Nine DeKalb County high school basketball teams play beginning Tuesday for a spot in their respective state tournament Final Fours.
Six of those teams, all ranked in the Top 10 in Class AAAAA, must face each other for at least the second time this season as they battle in the Class AAAAA quarterfinals with three guaranteed a spot in this weekend's Final Four at Kennesaw State University.
The No. 3 ranked Miller Grove Lady Wolverines (24-5) play host to the No. 2 ranked Tucker Lady Tigers (25-4) at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the pair's third meeting of the season as part of a doubleheader that includes the No. 1 ranked Miller Grove Wolverines (27-3) and the No. 6 ranked Tucker Tigers (20-9).
The Lady Wolverines and Lady Tigers split a pair of games this season with Miller Grove winning 37-32 in the Peach State Classic semifinals and Tucker winning the regular season match up at Miller Grove by a score of 48-39. Miller Grove advanced with wins over Pope and Allatoona while Tucker won both games on the road at Osborne and Salem.
Miller Grove is led by senior Tashi Thompson (13 points, 3 assists, 2 steals per game) who joined the 1,000 career points club in a Region 6-AAAAA semifinal win over Stephenson. Tucker is led by junior forward Erykah Davenport (14.8 points, 6.9 rebounds) and entered the 1,000 point club in a February 1 win over Clarkston.
The Wolverines own a pair of victories over the Tigers this season including an 80-69 regular season win and 72-53 Region 6-AAAAA Tournament semifinal win. Miller Grove is coming off home victories against Sequoyah and Villa Rica while the Tigers went on the road to defeat Sprayberry and Allatoona.
Miller Grove is led by senior Kyre' Hamer (17.5 points, 6.0 rebounds in regular season) and senior Earl Bryant (13.7 and 5.3). Senior Devante Fitzgerald (20.6 points) and Jon Dunmeyer (14.4 points) lead the offensive attack for the Tigers.
The other all-DeKalb Class AAAAA quarterfinal matchup is a girls'
contest with the No. 4 ranked Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers (21-8) hosting the No. 7 ranked Stephenson Lady Jaguars (25-5) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday.
Southwest DeKalb has won six games in a row, including the Region 6-AAAAA championship, since losing to Miller Grove on January 29. Wins over Sprayberry and Villa Rica at home in the first two rounds of the state playoffs put the Lady Panthers in the position to host the quarterfinal.
Stephenson which was ranked No. 1 in the state at one point during the season lost two straight in the region tournament, but bounced back with a pair of big road wins over No. 1 ranked Kell and Lithia Springs to advance.
Southwest DeKalb is led by super sophomore Nicole Martin (16.4 points and 10 rebounds per game) who has over 800 points in two seasons of play, including 100 points in the five post season games.
Stephenson is led by Penn State signee Kaliyah Mitchell (18.1 points, 9 rebounds) and own a 51-46 win in the only meeting between the two teams this season.
The No. 3 ranked Redan Lady Raiders (25-2) host Sandy Creek (23-6) at 5:30 on Tuesday in the Class AAAA girls' quarterfinals with a trip to the Final Four at Fort Valley on the line. Redan advanced with a pair of 30 point wins over Dalton and No. 7 ranked Fayette County in the first two rounds of the tournament.
Sandy Creek advanced with wins over Madison County and No. 8 Marist, a team Redan defeated twice this season. The Redan attack is led by four juniors including Destini McClary (16.4 points), Brea Elmore (14.1 points), Jada Byrd (13.7 points, 7.9 rebounds) and Jamese Abney (13.5 points).
In other girls' Class AAAA quarterfinal action No. 1 ranked Columbia (24-3) travels to Region 7 No. 1 seed River Ridge (22-8) on Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the first meeting between the two teams.
Columbia and River Ridge have two common opponents on the season in Grady and Pickens County. Columbia which is led by seniors Miah Spencer (19.6 points) and Yaktavia Hickson (15.0 points) defeated both teams, Grady 70-39 and Pickens 53-35 in the first round of the state tournament.. River Ridge, led by senior Jordan Livesay (16.0 points) went 1-1 against Pickens and got past Grady 48-43 in the opening round of the state tournament.
The only Wednesday game for DeKalb teams has No. 3 ranked Columbia (25-3) hosting No. 4 Marist (23-4) in the third meeting for the two teams this season.
Columbia is led by senior point guard Tajh Shamsid-Deen, averaging a career high 22 points per game, and won a pair of highly contested victories against Marist this season 46-45 and 52-50.
DEKALB STATE PLAYOFF BASKETBALL SCHEDULE Tuesday, Feb. 26 Girls Class AAAAA Stephenson (25-5) at SW DeKalb (21-8), 6:30 p.m.
Tucker (25-4) at Miller Grove (24-5), 5:30 p.m.
Sandy Creek (23-6) at Redan (25-2), 5:30 p.m.
Columbia (24-3) at River Ridge (22-8), 6 p.m.
Tucker (20-9) at Miller Grove (27-3), 7 p.m.
Wednesday, Feb. 27
Marist (23-4) at Columbia (25-3), 6 p.m.