Greenforest boys, Stephenson girls to play for state titles

Stephenson Lady Jaguars defeat Forest Park in the Final Four to advance to the state playoffs, their first appearance since the 2008 championship win. Photos by Travis Hudgons

Two teams will represent DeKalb County in Macon for the basketball state tournament.

No. 5 ranked Stephenson girls (27-5) will play Region 6-AAAAA foe No. 2 ranked Mays (27-2) in the Class AAAAA championship game March 6, and No. 2 ranked Greenforest Christian boys (27-1) will take on defending state champions and No. 1 ranked St. Francis (28-3) in the Class A Private title game March 7.

Both games will be held at the Macon Centreplex.

This will be Stephenson’s first trip to the state title game since its 2008 state title win. The Lady Jaguars advanced to the title game after defeating Forest Park 55-44 in the semifinal game Feb. 27.

It took overtime for Stephenson to clinch the win. Down 39-37 with time winding down, senior forward Terrianna Cave scored on a layup to send the game into overtime. The Lady Jaguars were able to pull away from Forest Park in overtime with free throws.

After going 5 of 14 at the free throw line in the first three quarters, Stephenson hit 11 of its 12 free throw attempts to clinch the game.

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Stephenson has faced Mays twice this season, losing both contests. The Lady Jaguars lost 64-46 in a regular season game Jan. 20, and they lost by two points (53-51) to Mays in the Region 6-AAAAA tournament Feb. 13.

Game time for the Stephenson/Mays title game is 7 p.m.

Greenforest will be making its second state championship game appearance in three seasons after beating Athens Christian 57-56 in the Final 4 Feb. 28. The Eagles came back from an 11-point, first quarter deficit to win the game.

Greenforest has been on a roll since its 75-72 loss to Pebblebrook in December, its only loss of the season. The team opened its playoff run with a 103-31 win over Southwest Atlanta Christian in the Sweet 16, and dominated Stratford Academy 66-23 in the Elite 8 matchup.

With another shot at a state title after an impressive run to the title game, head coach Nick Lagroone said the team has to remain humble.

“At the end of the day we also have to realize that no one is not going to give us anything,” Lagroone said after the win over Stratford. “No matter how many titles we’ve won…our job is to go out here and play our basketball, and at the end of the day we’ll let the results take care of itself. We know we have a milestone in front of us, but we’re taking it one game at a time.”

Greenforest and St. Francis will face off at 12:45 p.m.

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