Tucker's Terrance Edwards (with ball) races past Effingham County's Khiry Wallace (right) during Tucker's first round Class 6A state playoff victory on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Brock)

Tucker’s Terrance Edwards (with ball) races past Effingham County’s Khiry Wallace (right) during Tucker’s first round Class 6A state playoff victory on Saturday. (Photo by Mark Brock)

The No. 1 Tucker Tigers defeated Effingham County 67-56 on Saturday to advance to the Sweet 16 along with four other DeKalb boys’ basketball programs gaining victories.

The Tigers used a huge third quarter to double their first half total of 29 to take control of their matchup at home against Effingham County.

Effingham cut a 29-24 Tucker lead to three on three occasions before the Tigers went on a 23-9 run in the final six minutes. A Dylan Pritchett three-pointer got things rolling for Tucker and Terrance Edwards followed with a layup on a pass from Jermontae Hill.

Hill completed a three-point play and had an offensive put back as the lead stretched to 12 (48-36). Back to back layups from David Giddens on passes from Edwards and Hill, the second with an and-one added to make it 53-36 with 2:36 left in the quarter.

Pritchett would add his third three of the game and another drive to the basket by Edwards sent Tucker into the fourth quarter up 58-41.

Effingham made a run early in the fourth quarter with Edwards and Raylon Barrion fouling out for the Tigers, but another Pritchett three made it 65-52 and Effingham would get not closer than 11 the rest of the way.

Hill finished with a 20-point, 12-rebound double-double to lead the Tigers with Edwards adding 18 points and Pritchett 12 on four three-pointers. Khiry Wallace had 17 points to lead Effingham with Randy Scott adding 14 and Keion Wallace 11.

Tucker moves on to host Allatoona (18-10) on Thursday at 7:00 pm at Tucker High. Allatoona beat Dacula 63-54 to advance.

Class 5A
Three DeKalb teams advanced in the Class 5A Boys’ State Playoffs with victories on Saturday with the first being the No. 3 ranked Lithonia Bulldogs (25-3) going on the road to knock No. 4 Hiram 65-47.

Lithonia leading 23-18 at the half opened the second half on a 13-2 run keyed by Eric Gaines second three-pointer of the game on the way to a 43-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Hiram was not able to recover from the big third period by Lithonia.

Frank Champion led the way for Lithonia with a 19-point, 14 rebound double-double and five steals. Eric Gaines added 18 points and Raheem Swain chipped in 10 points.

The Bulldogs travel to No. 9 Veterans, an 84-52 winner over Fayette County on Saturday, for a 7:30 pm tip on Thursday.

Southwest DeKalb (17-12) used a big fourth quarter to defeat Paulding County (16-13) 67-56 and advance to the Sweet 16. The Panthers will host Griffin 13-11), a 77-53 winner over Harris County on Saturday, at 6:30 pm on Thursday.

The Columbia Eagles (17-11) rallied from a late 55-50 deficit to force overtime and beat Cass (16-13) 78-75 to move into the Sweet 16. They host Bainbridge (16-13), 36-33 winner against Riverdale, on Wednesday with game time set for 6:00 pm.

Class 3A
The Cedar Grove Saints (7-18) pulled off the upset of the tournament with a 72-69 win on the road over No. 2 ranked Dawson County (25-3).

The Saints built a lead of 17 on one occasion, but Dawson County got hot from outside nailing some three-pointers to climb back with 64-57 with three minutes to play. Cedar Grove held off the late charge for the win.

Jeff Daniels led the way with 26 points, 6 rebounds and 5 assists with Shamdarius Echols adding 15 points and 10 rebounds and Brice Brittan chipped in 15 more.

The Saints go on the road to another ranked opponent on Thursday with a 7:30 pm matchup with No. 8 ranked Johnson-Savannah (20-7), a 52-49 winner over Crisp County.

Class 4A
The Druid Hills Red Devils (13-16) went on the road and gave Upson Lee a scare before falling 61-55 to a 17-10 deficit in the fourth quarter.

Druid Hills led 31-27 at the half and was holding a 45-44 advantage heading into the fourth quarter before falling to the home team.

Sweet 16
Three other DeKalb teams are in the Sweet 16 after wins last Friday including Arabia Mountain and Cedar Grove girls and Stephenson boys.

Arabia Mountain (23-5) goes on the road to No. 8 Starr’s Mill (24-3) for a 6:00 pm tip on Wednesday in Class 5A girls’ play.

The No. 7 Cedar Grove Lady Saints (19-5) entertain No. 3 Beach on Wednesday with a game time yet to be set for the Class 3A girls’ Top 10 battle.

The Stephenson Jaguars (18-10) hit the road to No. 3 ranked Lanier (22-5) on Thursday (tentatively) with a game time yet to be set.

Saturday, Feb. 15
Class 6A
No. 1 Tucker (25-3) 67, Effingham Co. (17-10) 56

Class 5A
SW DeKalb (17-12) 66, Paulding Co. (16-13) 55
Columbia (17-11) 78, Cass (16-13) 75
No. 3 Lithonia (25-3) 65, No. 4 Hiram (22-7) 47

Class 4A
Upson-Lee (20-7) 61, Druid Hills (13-16) 55

Class 3A
Cedar Grove (7-18) 72, No. 2 Dawson Co. (25-3) 69

Wednesday, Feb. 19
Class 5A
Arabia Mountain (23-5) at No. 8 Starr’s Mill (24-3), 6:00 pm

Class 3A
No. 3 Beach (19-9) at No. 7 Cedar Grove (19-5), 6:00 pm

Class 5A
Bainbridge (16-13) at Columbia (17-11), 6:00 pm

Thursday, Feb. 20
Class 6A
Allatoona (18-10) at No. 1 Tucker (25-3), 7:00 pm
Stephenson (18-10) at No. 3 Lanier (22-5), 7:30 pm

Class 5A
Griffin (13-11) at SW DeKalb (17-12), 6:30 pm
No. 3 Lithonia (25-3) vs. No. 9 Veterans (25-3), 7:30 pm

Class 3A
Cedar Grove (7-18) at No. 8 Johnson-Savannah (20-7), 7:30 pm