Posted: 9:33 pm Thursday, March 6th, 2014
By Chip Saye
Redan closed the game on a 15-5 run after Columbus had rallied from a 12-point, third-quarter deficit to pull even with six minutes remaining, and the Raiders completed a perfect season with a 63-53 victory in the Class AAAA girls basketball championship game Thursday at the Macon Coliseum.
The title was the second in school history for Redan and the 11th for DeKalb County public school girls teams in the past seven seasons. The Raiders, who went 27-0 in winning the AAAAA title in 2009, had only two games all season decided by fewer than 10 points and won their five playoff games by an average of 25.6 points. No. 2 Columbus (29-2) has never won a state title.
Redan led 40-28 at halftime, but Columbus scored the first six points of the third quarter to get back in the game. The Blue Devils held Redan to 3-for-12 shooting from the field in the quarter and trailed 46-44 going into the fourth.
Columbus finally tied the score at 48-48 on a jumper by Brittany Floyd with 6:12 remaining, but the Raiders answered with an 11-0 run that put the game away. Redan’s leading scorer, senior Brea Elmore, was the key, scoring four points and adding two assists during the run. Elmore finished with 20 points, six assists and 10 steals.
Redan got 16 points and four steals each from seniors Destini McClary and Jada Byrd. Jamese Abney scored six points and finished just short of 1,000 career points with 992. Elmore, McClary and Byrd reached the 1,000-point milestone earlier this season.
Columbus made its first three shots of the game, including a 3-pointer by Alexia Manning on the opening possession, but Redan finished the quarter on a 16-5 run and scored the first three points of the second to take a 22-12 lead. Columbus got back within four points at 24-20 on a jumper by Manning, but McClary made three 3-pointers in the final 2:12 of the half to give the Raiders a 40-28 lead.
Jacqueria Gunter was the only double-figure scorer for Columbus with 16 points. The Blue Devils used their size advantage to outrebound the Raiders 44-31, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Redan’s quickness as the Raiders finished with a 21-7 advantage in steals that led to 19 points off turnovers.
Columbus (53): Jacqueria Gunter 16, Jazmyn McIntosh 9, Tatyana Wyatt 5, Khayla Lloyd 5, Alexia Manning 9, Shardonee Hayes, Brittany Floyd 5, Kendra Moore, Jha’Meishia Griffin, Ariyah Copeland 4.
Redan (63): Jamese Abney 6, Brea Elmore 20, Destini McClary 16, Jada Byrd 16, Jaylen Black 1, Satorrie Hines , Keytonae Jones, Taylor Tucker 4.