Five Cobb County Schools teams played in the 8th Annual Tournament of Champions held at Wheeler High School on December 27 and 28, 2019. Wheeler Athletic Director Michael Sawyer called the event a “great event for our school that showcases some of the best basketball schools in Georgia and other states.” Kell, McEachern, Pebblebrook, South Cobb, and Wheeler all participated and played tough against similarly tough opponents. Four of the CCSD teams won their first game and will be moving on the final round, while one will be playing in the consolation round.
The day kicked off for CCSD with Pebblebrook taking on Westside Macon. Brook jumped out to a 19-14 lead to end the first quarter and never looked back. Persistent rebounding, accurate outside shooting, tight defense, and quick transitions from Brook were more than Westside was able to handle. Kaleb Washington had a outstanding day on both sides of the ball. Head Coach George Washington was pleased with the execution of his team. “If we can keep rebounding and make them take tough shots, we can pull this out,” he said at halftime. And his team delivered, finishing the game with a big win, 78-46. Pebblebrook will play Grayson for their second game of the tournament.
The South Cobb Eagles were on the floor next, taking on the Chattahoochee Cougars. While South Cobb was clearly the better team, they allowed the Cougars to take the lead in the second quarter and played from behind the entire second and third quarters. But Head Coach Gregory Moultrie’s halftime strategy of “taking away the threes for Chattahoochee” eventually paid off. A monster fourth quarter for the Eagles was the key to the game, as the defense held the Cougars to only three points. The Eagles would go on to outscore the Cougars 22-3 in the fourth, with the final score at 79-63. The Eagles will play Wheeler for their second game.
Speaking of host-team Wheeler, they played CCSD and East Cobb rival Kell for the next game. Kell looked good early in the game, playing fast up and down the court and shooting accurately. But Wheeler was never disturbed, taking an 11-point deficit in the second quarter in stride and continuing to play their game. The half ended with Wheeler down by only four points, 33-29. Wheeler was able to tie the game late in the third, and take their first lead late in the fourth. The regulation game ended with a tie score of 63-63. The OT period was just as exciting, with back and forth scoring, but Wheeler was able to take the win, 75-71. Kell will play Chattahoochee in their second game, and Wheeler will play South Cobb.
The final game of the evening was McEachern playing the Richmond, Virginia team John Marshall. Marshall’s big man, Roosevelt Wheeler, loomed large on the court; listed at 6’10”, he was by far the tallest one on the court. But McEachern’s Sharife Cooper was not to be denied another victory for his Indians. While the teams seemed to be fairly evenly matched, McEachern took an 11-point lead into halftime, thanks to strong rebounding and follow-up shots. Marshall showed no-quit in the second half and tied the game, 69-69, with 23 seconds left in the fourth. A shooting foul on Cooper with 2 seconds left in the game, put McEachern’s all-star on the line to win the game, 70-69. McEachern will play Shiloh in their second game.