In a matchup of undefeated girls’ junior varsity teams the Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers held of the Arabia Mountain Lady Rams 39-36 to capture the 2023 DCSD Junior Varsity Girls’ Basketball Championship on Saturday at Miller Grove High School.
Southwest DeKalb’s Shamaria Arnold hit two free throws with 2:26 to cap her 10-point fourth quarter output and give the Panthers (13-0) a 39-30. It would be Southwest DeKalb’s last points of the game.
Arabia Mountain’s Caiden Bradford hit the Lady Rams (12-1) first basket of the final period with 45 seconds to play to cut into the deficit at 39-33. Southwest DeKalb would make a turnover and Bradford pulled Arabia within 39-26 with her second three at the 23 second mark.
Another Panthers’ turnover led to a three-point miss by Arabia with 8.8 seconds to play, and a jump ball call went in favor of Southwest. Arabia Mountain pressured the inbounds and got another turnover to get one last game-tying shot off with 1.7 seconds to play.
The shot went off the rim as time expired and the Panthers had survived the furious Rams’ comeback attempt to claim the title.
Arnold had put Southwest up 17-10 with 4:10 to play in the first half when Arabia went on an 8-0 run to take an 18-17 advantage at the half. Layla Chestnut started it with a three-pointer, Shaniyah Lewis hit two free throws and Ebonee Bumbrey knocked down a three that sent Arabia into the half up 18-17.
The Rams opened the second half with a 9-0 run to go up 27-17 as Bradford scored four points, Bumbrey added a three-pointer and Lewis another basket.
Southwest DeKalb finished the quarter on an 8-0 run of its own led by Arnold’s six points including a three-pointer with three seconds left on the clock to knot the game at 29-all heading into the fourth quarter.
Arnold took control in the first four and a half minutes of the fourth quarter to score 10 points of her own while Arabia Mountain got one free throw from Bradford to fall behind by nine.
Arnold was named the game’s Most Valuable Player finishing with 30 points and 14 rebounds. Bradford finished with 11 points to lead Arabia and Lewis added 7 points and grabbed 9 rebounds.