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Congrats to all of the state champions from this weekend's hoops finals! You can find recaps and scores of 
each game in today's SHSSN. 

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In This Issue
Finals Schedule/Scores
Falcons Moms Clinic
6A Championship Recap
3A Championship Recap
A-Private Championship Recaps
Falcons Moms Clinic
Score Poll
Top Stories
When was the last time Tift County won a state championship prior to Saturday's 62-49 victory over Wheeler?
Today's answer can  
be found in the newsletter!


Saturday's answer:

Miller Grove boys have won six straight state titles. 



Thursday, March 6


Class A-Public


Randolph-Clay 53, Mitchell County 32


Class A-Public


Wilkinson County 72, Turner County 64


Class AAAA


Redan 63, Columbus 53


Class AAAA


Jonesboro 56, Columbia 51



Friday, March 7


AAASP Wheelchair

Houston County 38, Henry County 16 


Class AA


Kendrick 69, Wesleyan 58


Class AA


GAC 58, Calhoun 55




Tucker 84, SW DeKalb 64




Miller Grove 70, Warner Robins 43



Saturday, March 8


Class A-Private


SW Atlanta Christian 57, Holy Innocents' 52


Class A-Private 


St. Francis 65, Whitefield Academy 60


Class AAA


St. Pius X 48, Buford 45


Class AAA


Morgan County 69, Buford 45 




McEachern 82, Archer 69




Tift County 62, Wheeler 49

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Monday, March 10, 2014


By Craig Sager II

Tift County defense stifles Wildcats in finals


Tift County slammed the door on any Wheeler comeback attempt and

Photo by Walter Pinion

cruised in the fourth quarter for a 63-49 victory in the Class AAAAAA state championship. The Blue Devils last state title came in 1996 and the win over Wheeler ended a streak of 17 consecutive playoff exits for a team that has earned 20 consecutive playoff berths.

"When you play with each other and play disciplined this is what happens," said Tift County head coach Eric Holland. "So many times we got to this point and dropped the ball because we didn't play together."

Tift County showed its intensity from the opening tipoff and took an 11-3 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Blue Devils' defense continued forcing Wheeler into its half court set and shut down the Wildcats' dangerous transition attack. Wheeler scored just four fast break points.

"We knew we could guard these guys [Wheeler], said Holland. "I had a guy Chris Wade, probably the best defensive coach in the country come in and fix the defense for me. We didn't play any defense last year and we knew if we came in and stopped their transition points we were going to win. The game we scouted Wheeler this year they had 39 points at the half and 36 of them were in transition. We knew if we took away their transition game and made them play a half court game we were a better team."

Holland's recipe for success worked and seniors Tadric Jackson and D.J. Bryant found ways to attack the Wheeler defense in their balanced half court offense. Bryant finished with a game-high 22 points and went to the foul line 14 times and hit 11-of-14. Jackson navigated his way through Wheeler's defense and full court press and finished with 15 points and just three turnovers with heavy defensive attention coming his way.


Wheeler got in early foul trouble after picking up several reach-ins and it turned out to be costly. Tift County added to Wheeler's foul issues by hustling back on defense and drawing charges during Wheeler's fast break opportunities. Blue Devils senior Steven Waters drew three charges in the game. Tift County freshman P.J. Horne was also able to draw costly fouls. Tift County came out of a timeout with just over three minutes remaining and Horne took the inbounds pass and dunked past Jaylen Brown, who picked up his fifth foul on the play. Brown went to the bench for good with a team-high 17 points. A minute and a half later, Horne ran back on defense and drew a charge and fifth foul on senior point guard Avery Patterson. Horne finished with nine points, eight rebounds and went 5-5 from the foul line in his outstanding championship debut.


Wheeler's highly recruited 6-foot-10 center Daniel Giddens (also fouled out) was held scoreless and finished with just two rebounds in 25 minutes of action. Horne was a big part of the defensive success against Giddens.


"I told P.J. before the game that the guy you are guarding [Giddens] is 6-foot-10, but he's only 6-foot-10. You are 6-foot-5," explained Holland. "Play with will and play with 'want to' and that will alleviate him being a little bit taller than you. And P.J. played really well for us inside tonight."


Ladarius Stewart finished with eight points, four rebounds and three assists for the Blue Devils. Wheeler's Elijah Staley had a solid game with 10 boards and 16 points.

McEachern dominates second half in girls finals

McEachern outscored Archer 42-27 in the second half and clinched its

Photo by Walter Pinion

second state title in three seasons with an 81-62 victory over the Tigers. The Indians cruised through the 2014 playoffs with an average 32.6 margin over victory and were led throughout by juniors Caliya Robinson and Te'a Cooper. 


Cooper set the pace with 15 first half points and finished with 17. Robinson finished with

20 points and finished with 11 rebounds and six blocks. 10 of Robinson's rebounds were on the defensive end because the 6-foot-2 forward was stretching the offense with her range and finished 4-of-6 from beyond the arc.


Archer was led by sisters Autumn and Madison Newby, which contributed 41 of the Tigers 62 points. Junior point guard Madison finished with 20 points and freshman Autumn scored 13 in the second half to notch a game-high 21. McEachern and Archer were competitive in the paint and the Indians held just a 36-to-34 point advantage in that category. McEachern's ability to shoot the three-pointer was the difference. The Indians finished 9-of-20 from downtown (45 percent) to Archer's 2-of-10.


McEachern finishes the season 28-2 and a perfect 23-0 against instate opponents.


By Craig Sager II
Tookie Brown electric in Bulldogs' first title



Tookie Brown led Morgan County to its first-ever state title with a game-high 36 points as the Bulldogs crushed Buford 69-45 in the Class AAA state championship. Morgan County exploded to a 20-5 lead at the end of the opening quarter and never gave Buford a chance.


"We got beat

Photo by Sonny Kennedy

last year in the second round because we didn't get out of the gates quick," said head coach Charlemagne Gibbons. "Our motto this year was that we were going to get out of the gates quick."


Morgan County scored 15 points off of turnovers in the first quarter and held Buford to just two fast break points all game. C.J. Thurman threw down a massive alley-oop while spinning 360 degrees to the delight of a massive Morgan County crowd in the first half and controlled the paint with his 15 points off of 7-of-8 shooting.


"He [Thurman] put us on his shoulders in the second half all postseason and this was a signature for him to be one of the best big men in the state and I think he signed off on that tonight," said Gibbons.


Senior Davon Gibbs helped limit Buford's D'Marcus Simonds to just six points and finished with five points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals. Buford only took five foul shots all game and was outscored 44-to-18 in the paint.



Durr, St. Pius X overcome slow start in Macon


St. Pius X recovered from a poor start and edged Buford 48-45 to win its second straight Class AAA championship. Buford opened the game on a 15-1 run and

Photo by Ty Freeman

led 15-3 at the end of the first quarter. Asia Durr scored 10 of her game-high 23 points in the second quarter and St. Pius X and outscored Buford 20-6 to grab a 23-21 lead at the half.


Miah Allen answered both of Buford's three-pointers in the third quarter and St. Pius X went ahead 35-29 entering the fourth. St. Pius made just one field goal in the final quarter, but Durr was 10-for-10 from the foul line. Camille Anderson led Buford with 14 points and center Bree Horricks finished with 13. St. Pius X held Buford to zero fast break points in its 60 possessions.






By Stephen Black
Knights top region-rival for first state title


St. Francis rallied from a 35-26 halftime deficit to defeat Region 6-rival Whitefield Academy in a game that featured chippy play and several fouls. It is the first boys state championship for the Knights.


St. Francis trailed the entire second and third quarters  until taking the lead with just over

Photo by Ty Freeman

three minutes left in the game when Malik Beasley converted a free throw. Beasley led the Knights with 25 while Kobi Jordan-Simmons had 20. Junior center Josh Coleman pull down a game-high 13 rebounds. St. Francis won the battle on the boards 43-23. Courtney Alexander led Whitefield Academy with 17 points.


St. Francis' McKinley Brown was ejected from the game while Whitefield senior wing Eric Lockett fouled out in the fourth quarter.

Whitefield had won the two previous meetings this season.




Warriors topple undefeated Holy Innocents'



Southwest Atlanta Christian won its first girls state title since 2006 with a 57-52 win over Holy Innocents' Saturday in Macon. A 15-2 run that start late in the third quarter eventually gave the Warriors the lead which they would hold the final 6:30 of the game.


Senior guard

Photo by Walter Pinion

Marquita Daniels, a South Alabama signee, led SACA with 19 points and senior forward Amy Griffin, a LaSalle signee, added 15 points and nine rebounds. Holy Innocents' was led by sophomore center Erika Cassell's 12 points and 18 rebounds and freshman guard Khayla Pointer's 13 points.


SACA forced 21 Holy Innocents' turnovers. The Warriors lost in last year's final to St. Francis, which they eliminated in the semifinals this season.



Information Session: March 18 | 7-9 PM


Dear Coach,

We wanted to provide an update regarding the 2014 Atlanta Falcons Coaches Clinic hosted by Head Coach Mike Smith. Due to the NFL Draft which is now in May and required commitments, the next Coaches Clinic will be held in March 2015. Please save the date for the Atlanta Falcons Salute to High School Football reception for Georgia high school football head coaches on Saturday, December 13 at the Georgia Dome. 


Please save the date for the Atlanta Falcons Salute to High School Football reception for Georgia high school football head coaches on Saturday, December 13 at the Georgia Dome. 


For other Atlanta Falcons youth and prep football program information, please visit or on twitter @AFPlayFootball


Thanks so much for your support of the Atlanta Falcons. 


All inquiries should be directed to David Quiroga, Youth and Prep Football Coordinator at 770-965-4310 or



Atlanta Falcons Community Relations Department 

DIRECT PHONE: 770-965-4310  





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