DeKalb sends 11 teams to GHSA second round

Columbia High School’s boys’ basketball team was one of 11 DeKalb County teams to advance to the second round of the Georgia High School Association’s (GHSA) state playoffs – which begin Feb. 25 at locations around the state.

In addition to Columbia’s boys’ team, Cedar Grove (boys), Tucker (boys), Arabia Mountain (girls), Lithonia (boys), Decatur (girls), Decatur (boys), St. Pius X Catholic (boys), Marist (boys), Marist (girls), and Greenforest (boys) also won their opening round games.

Trailing 39-37 with 1:27 to play in the third quarter, the No. 2 ranked Columbia Eagles locked in on defense to go on a 13-0 run on the way to a 63-50 Class 2A first round boys’ state playoff game against the No. 10 ranked Drew Charter Eagles at Columbia on Feb. 22.

Columbia (28-1) forced 10 turnovers (13 overall in the second half) in the final 9:27 of the game after Jaiden Haynes hit a three-pointer to put Drew (20-8) up 39-37.

The first turnover turned into free throws for Columbia’s Jamarcus Hatcher. With five seconds left in the third quarter, another turnover was turned into a slam dunk by Terrell Wright on an assist from Trevian Callaway that brought the crowd into the game heading into the fourth quarter.

Columbia took control of the game opening the fourth quarter on a three-point play by Hatcher that started a 9-0 run to open the final period.

Haynes broke an almost four-minute drought to make it 50-41. A couple of trips up and down the floor produced nothing for Columbia until Rashad Headges got the ball inside to Wright for another rim rattling dunk. Callaway then made a steal and took it the length of the floor for a layup to make it 54-41 with 3:43 remaining.

Another three by Haynes made it a 10-point game, only to have Columbia answer with a Hatcher layup and some string music from three-point land by Kevin Bruce to push the lead back out to 59-44 with 2:12 to play.

Haynes and Kenneth Scott hit three-pointers for Drew’s final points. Wright finished out the game with a layup on an assist from Callaway and ended the game with his third dunk in an eight-minute span for the final of 63-50.

Wright finished the night with 18 points, eight rebounds and six blocks to lead the Columbia Eagles. Headges added 11 points and six rebounds; Jadan Baugh contributed 10 points and four rebounds.

Drew was led by Haynes with 16 points and Cedric Taylor with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Columbia plays Union County on Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.

Feb. 24 schedule:

Class 5A Girls

Jones Co. (20-8) at Arabia Mountain (25-2), 6 p.m.

Class 5A Boys

Lithonia (18-9) at Eagle’s Landing (26-1), 7:30 p.m.

Decatur at Dutchtown 7:30 p.m.

Class 3A Boys

Union Co. (19-9) at Columbia (28-1), 7 p.m.

Class 2A Boys

Cedar Grove (17-9) at Monroe Area (24-4), 6 p.m.

Feb. 25 schedule:

Class 1A Boys

Greenforest at Manchester, 3 p.m.

Class 5A Boys

Jones Co. (17-12) at Tucker (20-6), 4 p.m.

Lakeside Evans at St. Pius, 5 p.m.

Marist at Grovetown, 7:30 p.m.

Class 5A Girls
Bradwell Institute at Decatur, 4 p.m.

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