Marietta (1951), Sprayberry (1971), Wheeler (1998) and Pope (1999) had all brought state titles back to Cobb County, but none of them have been able to win a second.
McEachern joined the champions’ club with an undefeated season in 2012, and after one year of rebuilding, the Lady Indians are back on top.
And though the Lady Indians (28-2) weren’t undefeated — losing in a pair of out-of-state showcases — they did go a spotless 23-0 within the state line.
“McEachern is the kind of school that can make history, and when we realized that we could do it, we wanted to be the team to do it,” coach Phyllis Arthur said. “I think this is great for the coaching staff and great for the players.”
Leading scorer Te’a Cooper finished with 17 points, doing the bulk of her scoring in the opening half, where she hit three 3-pointers to set the tone.
Caliya Robinson led the way with 20 points, going 8-for-13 from the field. She also pulled down 11 rebounds and had six blocks. Jada Lewis added 14 points and Taylor Gordon finished with nine after going 5-for-6 on the free-throw line.
While Cooper’s three 3s in the first half laid the groundwork for the McEachern, the game wasn’t won until the third quarter.
Archer (29-4) was holding its own against the favored Lady Indians, with the teams trading layups, and the upstart Lady Tigers only trailed by four, 39-35, at the half.
The third quarter started with a long jumper by Robinson, which launched a 25-10 spurt that gave the Lady Indians the breathing room they needed going into the fourth quarter.
Archer hung for as long as it could. On the ensuing possession after Robinson’s jumper, the Lady Tigers came through with three offensive rebounds, but they couldn’t finish.
It was all McEachern from there.
Gordon hit a 3 before Robinson hit another 3 to give McEachern a double-digit lead it never relinquished. The Lady Indians then went on to score seven more unanswered points, capped by a pair of Gordon free throws.
Archer never recovered. Madison Newby carried her weight in the third quarter but didn’t get much help and ended up with 21 points.
McEachern continued swelling the lead on back-to-back layups by Gordon and Aunesha Williams, and Ziendra Bridges capped the third quarter with a layup for an 18-point lead.
“I was positive (at the half) and told them that we got this game,” Arthur said. “We started relaxing (in the second half) and did some things right. We knew, if we can run the ball, we would be in good shape.”
Autumn Newby finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds for Archer.
Amber Skidgel and Linsey Marchese both finished with eight points.