POWDER SPRINGS — McEachern earned its fifth region title in a row with a 60-51 victory over North Cobb in the championship game of the Region 3AAAAAAA girls tournament at Lovinggood Gym on Saturday.
The Lady Indians’ latest region crown earned them the region’s No. 1 seed as they open the Class AAAAAAA girls state basketball tournamentnext weekend. The Lady Warriors claimed the second seed, meaning both teams will open the playoffs at home. It was the third time this season McEachern had upended North Cobb.
The Lady Indians advanced to the finals with a 52-49 victory over North Paulding on Friday, while the Lady Warriors earned their spot with a 49-47 win over Marietta.
Denim DeShields scored 21 points and Caelan Ellis added 19 to lead the way for McEachern (17-9).
Azunya Austin poured in 27 points for North Cobb (19-8).
McEachern took control early as Ellis began the game with a 3-pointer and DeShields scored on a layup off of a North Cobb turnover. The Lady Indians went on to take a 22-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
McEachern was fueled by three 3-pointers — two of them by Ellis and the other by Kiarah Cole-Massiah — and also took advantage of seven Lady Warrior turnovers in the first 8 minutes of the game.
McEachern led 44-32 at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but North Cobb began the final period with a 12-3 run to cut the Lady Indians advantage to 47-44 with 2:47 left in the game.
However, that’s as close as North Cobb would get as McEachern would eventually boost its winning margin to nine points at the end.
North Paulding 56, Marietta 54: The Lady Blue Devils had to settle for the No. 4 seed out of Region 3AAAAAAA with a tough-luck loss to the Lady Wolfpack in the region consolation game.
Lauren Walker led Marietta with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Alexis Brewster finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Loren Nelson added 11 points.
North Paulding and Marietta will open the Class AAAAAAA state tournament on the road next week.