Lithonia sweeps Stone Mountain in hoops

Lithonia High School defeated Stone Mountain High School on the road in Region 5-5A basketball Jan. 4.

Lithonia won the girls game thanks to Asia Ward putting up a shot from 12-feet out that rolled around the rim before falling in with one second left to play. The Lady Bulldogs won 53-52.

Trailing 52-49 following a pair of free throws by Stone Mountain’s Omnia Osman with 11.4 seconds left in the game, Ward was fouled and connected on both ends of the one-and-one to cut the lead to 52-51 with 7.2 seconds remaining in the game. 

Lithonia set up a press as Stone Mountain inbounded and got a jump ball with the possession arrow in their favor. Ward got the inbounds pass and stepped from just outside the lane to put up the winning shot that had both teams on edge as it rolled slowly around the rim and into the net. 

Time ran out before Stone Mountain could inbound sending the Bulldogs (3-9, 2-5) into a celebration. 

Stone Mountain battled back from an 11-point, third-quarter deficit trailing 40-37 with the aid of a Tamia Boone three  and a layup by Nyla Warren in the final 33 seconds of the third period.  

Back-to-back three-pointers by Mikayla Wilson and Evangeline Niyongushima in the fourth quarter put Stone Mountain up 45-42 with 5:11 to play. 

Lithonia’s Janiya Smith hit 7-12 free throws—including four in a row—that gave Lithonia the lead back at 49-48 with 22 seconds left in the game. 

Boone hit a pair of free throws as Stone Mountain regained the lead 50-49 with 16.5 seconds before a turnover led to Osman’s free throws to extend the lead to three to 52-49 with 11.4 seconds remaining. 

Smith had a game-high 26 points to lead Lithonia, Ward added 10 points and 12 rebounds and Asia Freeman chipped in 10 points. Boone led Stone Mountain (4-5, 3-2) with 23 points and 6 rebounds and Niyongushima added 10. 

Boys 

Lithonia High School’s Bulldogs completed the sweep using a 25-point third-quarter explosion to pull away from the Stone Mountain Pirates for a 77-48 win. 

Lithonia led 37-33 coming out of the break and promptly went on a 10-0 run kickstarted by back-to-back three-pointers by Chase Champion and Caleb Taylor. Champion added a second three as he scored six consecutive points to push the lead to 53-36 at the 3:57 mark of the third quarter. 

Champion finished with 11 points in the third quarter as he closed out the quarter with two free throws to give the Bulldogs (10-5, 5-2) a 20-point advantage of 62-42 heading into the fourth quarter. 

The Bulldogs subbed in the fourth quarter, but never looked back as they continued to pull away on the way to the 77-48 final. 

The Pirates (2-8, 1-5) rallied from an early 18-5 deficit in the first quarter behind a barrage of three-pointers, two by Malik Hinton and one each by Kendrick Reese and Elijah Collins. A drive and pull-up jumper by Kobe Johnson tied the game at 32-32 with 2:43 left in the first half. 

Lithonia answered with a three by Taylor and a layup by Champion to take the 37-33 halftime lead. 

Champion finished with a game-high 20 points to lead the Bulldogs, and Taylor was right behind with 18. Hinton hit for 19 points for the Pirates and Johnson added 13. 

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