Marietta had a great season, finishing the year at 25-7 and winning a very tough region in 5-AAAAA. This has to hurt now, but they can look back on this year and be very proud. Having a star like McCall can sometimes have a negative impact on the team with regards to team chemistry and cohesion on the floor, that wasn't the case for the Blue Devils. Echols and White were fantastic all year serving as floor generals, and they made things easier for a player like McCall. You look down that roster and you realize they are about the sum of their parts, and not just their star.
But they ran into a buzzsaw tonight. The Raiders just accepted their state championship trophy, and you have to wonder if there was ever a doubt that they would be holding it tonight after that performance. As I mentioned earlier, they were here last year but experienced a much different result. Last year they looked rattled in the blowout loss to Stephenson. They were calm and confident this time around, and Marietta never looked a threat. Defensively they were active all night long, shutting down McCall and frustrating her from the opening tip. Offensively, Alisha Andrews wowed the crowd with some fantastic dribbling skills and passes, while Paige and Fambro provided a lot of the scoring. They put on an absolutely show this evening.
The scary thing is that they will only be better next year. Everyone but Brunson and Fambro return for them. While they will miss Fambro's scoring presence off the bench and Brunson's toughness down low, they will return their key cogs in Andrews, Paige, Dalrymple, Aneesah Daniels (who bothered McCall all night), and more. I don't want to get to far ahead of myself, but we could be talking about another Gwinnett Arena appearance next year from them? And furthermore, is it possible they could go undefeated yet again in 2009-10?
A nice moment as well after the game, as Tucker Head Coach James Hartry came down to the floor to embrace and congratulate RHS head coach Rhonda Malone. It's nice to see that kind of unity amongst the Dekalb Co. head coaches.
Wheeler-Milton tip is coming in just a few moments.