By Score Atlanta reporter Fletcher Proctor:
The Southwest DeKalb Lady Panthers have never won a state title, but this team may be on its way to a coronation. SWD took on a tough Westlake team in the semis, but thanks to a 20-11 third quarter which gave the Panthers a 20-point lead, the team, and Eboni Mitchell, kept its foot on the gas and eventually topped the 90-point barrier. The final score was 90-63. Mitchell finished with 32 points and the team looks poised to capture the elusive state title. Charenee Stephens finished with 20 for the Panthers. Southwest DeKalb will be squaring off against the Fayette County Lady Tigers as they squeaked out a one-point victory in the semis over Madison County 45-44. The Tigers, led by junior Tessah Holt and sophomore Anma Oneuku, will look to trip up an upperclassmen-heavy squad in SWD that hasn’t lost since Dec. 15.
Over on the guys’ side, Fayette County continued its run to the state title with a 73-68 win over a tough Miller Grove squad. Noel Johnson scored 29 for the Tigers and the team needed every one of those points to overcome Miller Grove’s Mfon Udofia. The junior Wolverine netted 30 points and rallied his team late to a tie game at 52-52, and to within two points with just under three minutes to play. But then Tiger junior Johnson took over, connecting on a 3-pointer to doom Miller Grove’s hopes. The Tigers will go up against Columbia as the No. 2 team in the state knocked off No. 1 Westlake. The Eagles jumped out early to a 17-4 lead over the Lions and the rout was on. Travis Leslie had 20 points and the Eagles led by 20 at the half. By the time Westlake’s Raymond Willis got it going, it was too late. His 26 weren’t a factor as the Eagles advanced to the state finals – as a three-seed – with a 68-57 victory. The Tigers’ speed against the Eagles’ physicality should make for a VERY interesting finals.
Fletcher Proctor can be reached at email@example.com.