Eagle's Landing ends Columbia's basketball reign

jheeter@macon.comMarch 8, 2013 

Isaiah Dennis and Desmond Ringer each scored 17 points to lead Eagle’s Landing to a 61-47 win over Columbia Thursday in the GHSA Class AAAA state championship game at the Macon Coliseum.

Ringer, who has signed with South Carolina, made 8-of-9 field goal attempts and added 14 rebounds. Eric Wortham Jr. added 12 points for the Golden Eagles, who won the first boys basketball state championship by a Henry County school. The Henry County girls won a state title in 1960.

"This is the only way it could end for us and be satisfactory," Eagle's Landing head coach Clay Crump said. "Because they've been so close, and all the excuses are gone. They're seniors. There's no other shot."

Auburn signee Tahj Shamsid-Deen led Columbia with 21 points. The Eagles are coached by Macon native and Northeast alum Kerry Sandifer.

Columbia (27-4) cut a 13-point deficit to four points early in the fourth quarter, but Eagle’s Landing (23-4) used an 8-2 run to regain a 10-point lead with three minutes to play, and Columbia never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.

The Golden Eagles shot 45.3 percent from the floor, while Columbia shot 31.8 percent.

Columbia’s quest for a fourth straight state championship ended with the loss. The Eagles won their first three titles in Class AAA.

This group of Eagle's Landing seniors were playing in their third game in as many years at the Coliseum.

"They have good and bad memories here," Crump said. "They've been bad up until this point. But they've still played here. They've sat on that bench...so the stage isn't bigger for them."

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