McEachern has chance to bring second title to Powder Springs
by Carlton D. White
cwhite@mdjonline.com
March 07, 2014 04:00 AM | 2799 views | 8 8 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
McEachern’s Taylor Gordon and the rest of the Lady Indians will try to bring a second state championship back to Powder Springs on Saturday when they face Archer in the Class AAAAAA championship game.
McEachern’s Taylor Gordon and the rest of the Lady Indians will try to bring a second state championship back to Powder Springs on Saturday when they face Archer in the Class AAAAAA championship game.
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According to the Georgia High School Basketball Project, only five Cobb County girls’ basketball programs have won GHSA state championships since the tournament’s inception in 1945, and none of them have been repeat winners.

McEachern is hoping to change that.

The Lady Indians, who won the Class AAAAA state title in 2012, have an opportunity not only to make program history, but local history as well, when they face off against Archer in the Class AAAAAA state championship game Saturday evening at the Macon Centreplex.

The list of title holders includes Marietta (Class AA) in 1951, Sprayberry (Class AA) in 1971, the 1998 Wheeler (Class AAAA) squad and the 1999 Pope (Class AAAA) team.

McEachern could become the first program to win it twice.

“I’m really excited for the girls and for the school,” McEachern coach Phyllis Arthur said. “It’s exciting to be back in this position, and I’m especially excited for the players that haven’t been here before. To see their faces and know it’s nearing the end and we could be the state champions again on Saturday, is truly a blessing.

“They’re expecting it and they really want it. I told them whoever comes out there and wants it the most is going to get it.”

Winning the game won’t be easy for McEachern (27-2), which has an average margin of victory of 36 points in the playoffs. Archer (29-3), a fifth-year program, has proven it can compete.

“They’re disciplined,” Arthur said. “They can shoot from the outside and they have some height with the Newby sisters (Madison and Autumn). We’ve been watching film, and we know they’re scrappy and they crash the boards, so we have to get in there and box out and we have to stop them from penetrating.”

One thing McEachern has in its favor is experience. Three players — Te’a Cooper, KlinTisha Martin and Declaria Daniels — were a part of McEachern’s championship team from two years ago. Saturday will also mark the Lady Indians’ third state championship game appearance in four years.

“Even though we have the experience, because they’re a young team, it doesn’t mean anything,” Arthur said.

Cooper, who was the starting guard on the 2012 team, isn’t dwelling on that past experience because the teams are so different.

“That last one is forgotten about,” she said. “We’re trying to do something special this year. That was an amazing team my freshman year. We were more experienced and older and determined to be champion. This year’s team has a different drive.”

That drive stems from the negative comments the team has received. There have been accusations of illegal recruiting and undue influence from boosters contributing to the makeup of this year’s team.

“If people aren’t talking about you, then you’re not doing something right, I guess,” Cooper said. “For us, it’s just all been motivation. We’ve turned that negative energy into positive energy.”

Arthur has the Lady Indians’ support.

“With myself, especially, I was thinking why would someone even say things like this about me and question my character and slander and disparage me. That’s not who I am, that’s not who my team is and that’s not what McEachern is. It’s all false. I told (her players) we’re not going to listen to that anymore and we’re going to use that negativity as motivation. What it’s really done is motivate us.”

Senior wing Taylor Gordon is also motivated. She wasn’t allowed to play for McEachern last season even though she lives in the school district. Gordon spent her first two years playing for North Cobb, attending the school because of its Magnet program.

“This is a dream come true,” she said. “I feel like every player wants to be in this position. For me and my team, this is exciting. It’s overwhelming too because of the things I went through last year. It’s emotional, but fun and shows you can overcome adversity. Hopefully, we’ll get the chance to accomplishment our goal.”

Comments
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Let the haters hate
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March 08, 2014
Lady Indians go win state! Don't let the negativity of others determine your destiny. I am proud of you and support you without fail. I am so sorry that Caliya's mom has not been able to support her daughter at her games due to her health, I can only imagine how hard it has been on her. Girls, through life many people will judge you and speak hateful things about you and to you, but at then end of the day, they DON'T MATTER. Keep your heads held high and play the game you love and bring home the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP. To all the HATERS- I pray for you, I pray that your children won't lose their fathers and I pray that you don't get sick that you have to miss your child's games, and I pray that you don't have to give custody to someone else because your too ill to take care of them. But if you do happen to face this in the future, I pray that God places someone in your life that will care for your child as they would their own. Last but not least, I pray for the Lady Indians, I pray that God protect each and everyone of you on the court tonight and gives you peace and focus to DO YOU!
Kell mama knows
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March 07, 2014
Amazing that a few - more likely, just one - continue to ridicule and criticize Mceachern despite the fact is has become very apparent there is absolutely ZERO evidence of wrongdoing by anyone tied to the MHS girls basketball program. Not one shred of proof has come to light, even after weeks and weeks of claims by some - more likely, just one - on every internet blog serving the Cobb County area. One true fact in all of this is: if some of those folks who have been slandered and had their name drug the mud on public forums had the hankering, they could involve a lawyer. It would likely be a slam-dunk case.

The Gordon girl attends and plays for the school that serves the district she has lived in for many years. She was at NC for the magnet program and decided to come back to Mac. If there's any injustice in all of this, it's that she had to sit out a year after coming back, despite living in the same house.

As for the the Robinson girl, some evidence has indeed come out. But it hurts, not helps, the case the Mac ridiculer wants everyone to believe:

http://espn.go.com/espnw/news-commentary/article/10561519/hoopgurlz-caliya-robinson-reaching-new-heights-court-classroom-tries-lift-mceachern-georgia-state-title
The Truth Shall Set
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March 07, 2014
All I can say about all of this is that if our program knew that Caliya was up for the taking, we would have made sure to have offered her a better deal than Coop.

Way to spin the story to ESPN. If Coop was such a great guy, why didn't he take in Caliya's siblings?

You all know you bent the truth to win a championship. Good job. I'd rather have been eliminated in the early rounds than win a cheater.

The truth shall set you free.
Hey Now
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March 07, 2014
And why did the Kell girls go to MHS this year? Because of their AAU coach. And why did Taylor Gordon leave NCHS for MHS? Because her AAU coach lied to her and said she could play immediately there. And guess what, they have the same AAU coach. Arthur has her head in the sand if she thinks otherwise.
GO INDIANS GO
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March 07, 2014
GO GIRLS! SO PROUD OF YOU!!!
Me too
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March 07, 2014
Im proud the girls have a good example in Coach Arthur.
McEac Faculty Member
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March 07, 2014
What a joke of an article? Arthur is probably the worst teacher in our building. She constantly degrades the kids at practice. Her foul mouth (cussing and I mean bad words) is a disgrace. There are so many cover ups over here it is rediculous. Why doesn't someone ask the counseling department about some of these things. Destiny Gibbs who transferred from Southwest Dekald has the same address as Caliya robinson who transferred from Kell. Check it out.
Kell mama knows
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March 07, 2014
You're a faculty member and compose a blog like that? Get that junk out of here, poser. At least you have plenty of other poser mates when it comes to this issue.
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