Arabia Mountain, SWD win DeKalb JV basketball titles

Southwest DeKalb High School’s girls’ basketball team and Arabia Mountain High School’s boys’ team picked up DeKalb County Junior Varsity Championships on Feb. 11.

In a matchup of undefeated girls’ junior varsity teams, Southwest DeKalb’s Lady Panthers held Arabia Mountain’s Lady Rams 39-36 to capture the 2023 DCSD Junior Varsity Girls’ Basketball Championship 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. They were Southwest DeKalb’s last points of the game.

Arabia Mountain’s Caiden Bradford scored 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 had a turnover, and Bradford pulled Arabia within 39-36 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 potential 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 the Arabia Mountain run 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 tie the game at 29-all heading into the fourth quarter.

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 seven points and grabbed nine rebounds.

Boys: Arabia Mountain 41, Lithonia 27

A 12-0 run in the second quarter put the Arabia Mountain Rams in control on the way to a 41-27 victory over the Lithonia Bulldogs to win the 2023 DeKalb County Boys’ Basketball Championship at Miller Grove.

Lithonia trailed 14-9 heading into the second quarter and cut the lead to 14-12 on a basket and a one-for-two trip to the foul line by Phillip Howard with 6:08 left before the half.

Tristen Anderson answered for the Rams (12-1) on a layup off a pass underneath by Jibril Abdur-Rahman to kickstart the 12-0 run. Boubacar Bah forced a turnover, and Jaden Ward pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back up to make it six points in a row for the Rams’ 22-12 lead.

Abdur-Rahman picked off a pass for a bucket and, following another Lithonia turnover, he fed Bah for an easy layup. Anderson finished off the run with a drive to the basket to make it 26-12.

Lithonia’s Daniel Weekes hit one of two from the line to make it 26-13 at the half in favor of the Rams.

Arabia Mountain opened the second half with a 7-1 spurt with Bah getting things started with a short turnaround, fade-away jumper. Ward followed with a three-pointer, and Tommy Palmer took a pass from Kameron Gribble for a layup with 4:05 left in the period to make it a 33-14 game.

Howard and Bah traded baskets in the final two minutes as Arabia took a 35-16 lead into the fourth quarter.

Lithonia had a 7-0 run in the fourth quarter with Howard as the catalyst. Roderick Sanders hit a three, and Weekes added a layup to cut the margin to 39-25.

Bah finished with 13 points and four rebounds to be named the Most Valuable Player. Anderson finished with four points and nine rebounds.

Lithonia (10-4) was led by Howard with 10 points and seven rebounds.

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