Friday, March 11, 2011 will go down as a great day in the history of Norcross High School Athletics. Norcross has won state titles in both girls and boys basketball, but never in the same year. Until last night.
After the second quarter of the girls game, the Lady Blue Devils left no doubt they were going to take home the hardware Friday night. Sophomore guard Diamond DeShields scored 26 points to lead Norcross to back-to-back State Championships as they rolled over McEachern 61-36.
At the end of the first quarter, it looked like the Lady Indians were going to put up a serious challenge for the trophy, with a tied score of 9-9.
However, the Lady Blue Devils made their critical 13-0 run in the second quarter, a run that would end up cinching the game. The quarter started off with McEachern committing three straight turnovers, the first two resulting in the Lady Blue Devils finding Dearica Hamby all alone for easy layups. The third McEachern turnover was a pass stolen by DeShields, who promptly nailed a three pointer, putting Norcross up 16-9. McEachern Head Coach Phyllis Archer called a time out to stop the bleeding, but it didn't work.
Norcross continued to reap the benefit of turnovers by the Lady Indians. The Lady Blue Devils forced a fourth turnover and Dearica Hamby found Alex DeMercy for a layup. Hamby then forced a fifth turnover, which resulted in a reverse layup for DeShields.
Then, as if it were instant replay, Hamby stole the ball and found DeShields for yet another layup. In less than 3 minutes, Norcross scored 13 unanswered points to gain a 22-9 lead from which McEachern would never recover.
After a continued scoreless streak, the Lady Blue Devils hit the locker room at halftime with a 34-17 lead. For the rest of the second half, Norcross dominated their way to their second consecutive AAAAA state title with a 61-36 win over McEachern.
"It never gets old. I can tell you that right now," Norcross Coach Angie Hembree told GPTV's Mark Harmond after the trophy presentation. "It was a great, great game. I want to congratulate McEachern on a wonderful effort. I want to thank the greatest student body in the world at Norcross High School, and the greatest fans and parents. Thank you so much!" Hembree said.
The Lady Blue Devils cap off their Championship season at 29-3, while McEachern, the State Class AAAAA Runner Up, finishes at 25-7.