Southwest DeKalb was the first of three DeKalb boys’ basketball teams to advance to next weeks GHSA State Tournament quarterfinals with wins on Thursday as the Panthers eliminated Griffin 67-46 at Southwest DeKalb.
Jacorry Gist’s offensive put-back with eight seconds to go in the first half ended a 6-0 run by the Panthers (18-12) to open a nine-point lea of 31-22 at the half. Gist made an earlier layup in the run off a steal and assist by Eugene Brown III started the run with a drive to the basket for his 13th point of the game with 1:31 left in the first half.
Griffin would get no closer than eight (34-26) the rest of the game. Quay Baker hit a pair of free throws and Jamoi Mays knocked down a pull-up jumper with 4:09 left in the third quarter to pull Griffin closer.
The pair of Brown and Gist teamed up with Muhamed Diallo on an 8-1 run to end the third quarter to extend the lead to 42-27 with just eight minutes to go in the game. Diallo started the run with a layup followed by Gist on an assist from Jarrett Walton. Brown added a drive for a layup and then two free throws.
Brown added two big dunks in the fourth quarter before subbing out and Kortney Forrest had a flurry of eight points in the final 38 seconds of the game as the lead grew to 21.
Southwest DeKalb will entertain Clarke Central (19-8), a 55-50 upset winner on the road over No. 1 Eagles’ Landing, in the quarterfinals next week.
The No. 3 ranked Lithonia Bulldogs (26-3) joined Southwest DeKalb in the Class 5A boys’ quarterfinals with a 78-68 win on the road over No 9 Veterans (25-4).
Lithonia got off to a slow start in the game trailing 11-2 early. They would outscore 34-17 the rest of the half to take a 36-28 advantage into the half. Veterans edged closer down 50-44 as the third quarter came to a close.
Veterans trailed by eleven (56-45) with five minutes to play before pulling within 70-64 with 1:15 to play. Lithonia was able to put up eight more points to pick up the 10-point victory.
Lithonia (26-3) goes on the road again next week to face No. 8 Cedar Shoals (26-3) which beat Wayne County on Thursday.
Class 6A Boys
The No. 1 ranked Tucker Tigers set up a rematch of their last second state championship loss to Tri-Cities with a 57-43 win over Allatoona on Thursday.
Tucker (26-3) got 28 points from Terrance Edwards and 14 more from Jermontae Hill in the home victory.
The No. 4 ranked Bulldogs (25-5) defeated Houston County79-67 to earn the trip to play at Tucker next week.
In other Class 6A boys’ action, the Stephenson Jaguars pushed No. 3 ranked Lanier (23-5) to limit before having their season come to an end with a heartbreaking 60-58 overtime loss. The Jaguars (18-11) led several times during the game.
The Cedar Grove Saints could not pull off two consecutive road upsets as they dropped their Sweet 16 game 71-57 to No. 8 Johnson-Savannah (21-7) on Thursday. The Saints had knocked off No. 2 Dawson County last week.
DCSD SECOND ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Thursday, Feb. 20
No. 1 Tucker (26-3) 57, Allatoona (18-11) 43
No. 3 Lanier (23-5) 60, Stephenson (18-11) 58 OT
SW DeKalb (18-12) 67, Griffin (13-12) 46
No. 3 Lithonia (26-3) 78, No. 9 Veterans (25-4) 68
No. 8 Johnson-Savannah (21-7) 71, Cedar Grove (7-19) 57
DCSD QUARTERFINAL ROUND PLAYOFF SCHEDULE
Tuesday, Feb 25
Class 5A Boys
Clarke Central (19-8) at SW DeKalb (18-12), 6:30 pm
Columbia (18-11) at No. 2 Dutchtown (25-4), 6:30 pm
Class 5A Girls
Arabia Mountain (24-5) at Woodland-Stockbridge (21-9), 6:00 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 26
Class 6A Boys
No. 4 Tri-Cities (25-5) at No. 1 Tucker (26-3), 7:00 pm
Class 5A Boys
No. 3 Lithonia (26-3) at No. 8 Cedar Shoals (26-3), 7:00 pm