State basketball playoffs began Feb. 19 and DeKalb County has 13 teams in the big dance, including four teams that entered as No. 1 seeds after claiming region championships on Feb. 16.
The Druid Hills Red Devils was the Cinderella story in the Region 2-AAAAAA Tournament, beating No. 1 seed Rockdale County 82-81 in overtime to claim the region title.
Druid Hills entered the tournament as the No. 6 seed and knocked off No. 3 seed Lovejoy, No. 2 Luella and No. 1 Rockdale County to take the region title and earn a No. 1 seed in the Class AAAAAA state playoffs. Druid Hills hosted Douglas County on Feb. 20.
Druid Hills head coach Jerome Lee said his team is capable of going on another run in the state playoffs as they did in the region tournament.
“It just depends on whether these guys are up to it,” he said. “We’re going to take it one game at a time. We’re not going to look past anyone.”
The defending four-time Class AAAA state champions and No. 1 ranked Miller Grove Wolverines won the Region 6-AAAAA boys’ title after defeating No. 10 ranked Stephenson 55-51 on Feb. 16. Both teams hosted home playoff games on Feb. 20 as Miller Grove hosts Sequoyah and Stephenson plays host to Pope.
The No. 5 ranked Tucker Tigers finished as the No. 4 seed out of Region 6-AAAAA and will travel to Sprayberry on Feb. 20 in the first round of the state playoffs.
Defending three-time Class AAA state champions Columbia Eagles suffered their second loss of the season to South Atlanta 74-73 in the Region 6-AAAA boys’ championship game on Feb. 16. The Eagles finished the regular season as the No. 1 ranked team in Class AAAA but entered the playoffs as the No. 2 seed out of the region and faced Gilmer County on Feb. 20 in the first round.
The Cedar Grove Saints finished as the No. 4 seed out of Region 6-AAA and traveled to Buford on Feb. 20.
On the girls’ side, the Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers entered the Region 6-AAAAA girls’ tournament as the lowest ranked of four ranked DeKalb County teams at No. 9, but won three consecutive games to claim their first region title since 2010. The Lady Panthers upset No. 1 Tucker 54-49 in the semifinals and then knocked off No. 3 Miller Grove 60-47 to take the No. 1 seed heading into the state tournament.
Southwest DeKalb hosted Region 7’s Sprayberry on Feb. 19.
Miller Grove, the 2012 Class AAAA state champion, entered the playoffs with the No. 2 seed and hosted Pope on Feb. 19.
Tucker knocked off No. 2 Stephenson 63-54 to take the No. 3 seed into the state tournament. Tucker traveled to Osborne on Feb. 19 while Stephenson traveled to No. 5.
Defending Class AAA state champions and No. 1 ranked Columbia Lady Eagles defeated the No. 2 Redan Lady Raiders 49-46 in the Region 6-AAAA title game. It was the second victory in three games against Redan this season for Columbia. The Lady Eagles hosted Pickens County on Feb. 20 and Redan hosted Dalton on Feb. 19 as the No. 2 seed.
The boys and girls teams from Decatur, Marist and St. Pius X also punched their tickets to the state playoffs. On Feb. 19, the Decatur Lady Bulldogs hosted Fannin County, Marist girls traveled to N. W. Whitfield, St. Pius X boys hosted East Hall and the girls host White County.
Decatur boys traveled to North Hall on Feb. 20 and Marist boys headed to Dalton.