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Basketball: Tucker, Miller Grove in Friday's Pre-Playoff Battle

DeKalb has 11 teams ranked in the latest high school polls.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.
By Mark Brock

DeKalb County has 11 teams ranked in this week’s high school basketball polls as teams roll toward region tournament time in February.

Miller Grove (14-4) and Tucker (15-1) clash in a battle of top ranked Class AAAAA teams on Friday at Tucker in a most anticipated match up before playoffs begin. Miller Grove is No. 1 in the AJC poll and No. 3 by Score Atlanta while Tucker is the AJC's No. 3 and Score Atlanta's No. 2.

The guard tandem of Tulane signee Keith Pinckney (16.6 pts) and super sophomore Alterique Gilbert (17.9 pts) lead the defending Class AAAAA champions into Tucker. The Tigers counter with senior guard Jon Dunmyer (17.9 pts), Shembari Phillips (15.1 pts) and Tyrell Thomas (12.8 pts, 12.2 rebs).

The other Class AAAAA boys’ teams ranked include Stephenson (11-3) at No. 5 in the Score Atlanta poll and No. 7 in the AJC. Stephenson owns wins over Class AAAA ranked Eagle’s Landing, St. Francis and Martin Luther King this season.

Score also ranks the Martin Luther King Lions (12-7) which is averaging just a four point margin in its seven losses including a heartbreaking one-point loss to Tucker on Tuesday. The Lions defeated Duluth, a recent winner over defending Class AAAAA Norcross and defending Class 1A private champ Greenforest Christian.

The Columbia Eagles are the lone ranked DeKalb team in Class AAAA boys’ play holding the No. 1 spot in both polls at 13-1. The only Columbia loss came at the hands of Tucker in the Chick-Fil-A Classic over the holidays at Tucker.

Cedar Grove checked into the AJC Class AAA boys’ poll at No. 9 with a 9-5 overall record with a win over No. 3 St. Pius on the Saints resume.

Three girls’ teams check into the two polls in Class AAAAA with Tucker and Southwest DeKalb swapping places atop the two polls.

Tucker (14-2) owns a win over Southwest on the season to claim No. 1 in the AJC poll and is No. 2 by Score Atlanta. Southwest DeKalb (15-2) swaps out with Tucker taking No. 1 in the Score Atlanta poll after an impressive run at the Upward Classic which included handing Parkview its first loss of the season.

Stephenson comes in at No. 5 in both polls with its 12-4 mark on the season. Redan (16-0) and Columbia (8-2) are ranked in both Class AAAA girls’ polls again this week.

The Lady Raiders, who have three players over 1,000 career points on the floor, pulled out a 75-74 thriller over the defending champion Columbia Lady Eagles at Redan last Friday night to remain undefeated. Seniors Brea Elmore (1,159), Destini McClary (1,123) and Jada Byrd (1,097) all went over 1,000 points before the Christmas break.

The Lady Raiders are No. 1 in both polls while Columbia comes in at No. 3 in the Score Atlanta poll and No. 5 in the AJC. The pair clash again at Columbia on Saturday, Jan. 18.

Columbia’s only losses are to Class AAA No. 2 ranked Buford and No. 1 ranked Redan this season while holding wins over Class AAAAA No. 3 ranked Salem and Class AAAA No. 7 ranked Marist.

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