Miller Grove High School accomplished something Friday that no other school in DeKalb County has done. The Wolverines won a boys and girls state basketball championship in the same season. The girls won their first state title with a 46-39 win over Southwest DeKalb in the Class AAAA championship at Gwinnett Arena. The Wolverines followed by claiming their fourth state title in a 62-57 win over Southwest in the Class AAAA boys final.
“After we lost in the Elite Eight last season, we told the girls if they didn’t want to feel that way again to pray for each other and play for each other to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” said Miller Grove girls coach Renee Breedlove.
The Miller Grove boys became the first time to win four straight basketball titles in any class since Westover accomplished the feat from 1990-93.
“It’s a rush,” Miller Grove boys coach Sharman White said. “I’m proud of everything the guys have done. They bought into the program and every day try to be the best they can be.”
Miller Grove 46, Southwest DeKalb 39
Klarissa Weaver scored 16 points and Tabitha Fudge added 11 for the Wolverines. Tashi Thompson added nine for the Wolverines. For Southwest, Jasmine Coleman and Shayla Rivers each scored 10. Rivers hit three 3-pointers while all her points in the second half.
Miller Grove went on an 11-0 run in the first quarter to grab a 16-5 lead as Weaver and Fudge each had four pints during that span. The lead grew to 30-13 lead at halftime as the Wolverines hit 7 of their final 10 free throw attempts in the second quarter.
The Wolverines kept the lead in double digits until midway through the fourth quarter. A 3-pointer by Rivers cut the Southwest deficit to 42-35, but the Panthers would get no closer.
The win was the 16th in a row for the Wolverines, whose 24-4 record is the best since the program began in 2005. During the streak, the Wolverines have held 11 opponents to less than 40 points.
“They were expecting us to come out in the same defense we had the last time we played, but we changed it up,” Fudge said. “We’ve always had a presence inside and it’s always about the defense with us.”
Miller Grove 62, Southwest DeKalb 57
Four was the lucky number for the Wolverines. In addition to winning its fourth straight state title, miller Grove's win was the fourth in a row over the Panthers this season. All four games were decided by six points or less and one went into overtime.
Tony Parker scored 16 points and Justin Colvin had 11 for Miller Grove (23-9), which, like the girls team, ended the season on a 16-game winning streak.
Jordan Price led Southwest with 17, but was held to one point in the fourth quarter. William Goodwin added 14 points and Justin Hollimon had 12 for the Panthers.
Free throws made the difference down the stretch. Miller Grove trailed 49-48 when Southwest’s Goodwin fouled out with 3:13 to play in the game. From that point on, the Wolverines went 14 of 18 from the free throw line and did not attempt a field goal.
Miller Grove led by six points in the first half and Southwest opened the second half on a 14-5 run to take a 43-37 lead. But a 3-pointer by Christian Houston tied the game 46-46 with 5:55 to play, just minutes before the free throw barrage.
“This is absolutely the most special [championship],” said Parker, who has signed a scholarship with Memphis. “It’s my last high school game. Nobody gave us nothing. We worked hard and everything took care of itself.”