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MAHONE: Let the best region, county basketball debate begin

Special Photo
It will be just one day, one round and one season, but Miller Grove’s Tony Parker (32) and Southwest DeKalb’s William “Shaq” Goodwin (2, left) will be playing to maintain Region 6-AAAA and DeKalb County’s bragging rights against Clayton County and Region 4-AAAA.

Special Photo It will be just one day, one round and one season, but Miller Grove’s Tony Parker (32) and Southwest DeKalb’s William “Shaq” Goodwin (2, left) will be playing to maintain Region 6-AAAA and DeKalb County’s bragging rights against Clayton County and Region 4-AAAA.

The debate will move from cyberspace to where it rightfully belongs — the basketball court.

Who has played the best basketball this season? Region 4-AAAA or Region 6-AAAA? Clayton County or DeKalb County?

There is no disputing that Region 6-AAAA and DeKalb County have been the juggernaut.

You can’t argue against a region whose current members have produced the last eight state champions in the classification, and sent several players on to the Div. I ranks.

Clayton County and Region 4-AAAA will get its shot at trying to stop the Region 6 and DeKalb County championship string.

North Clayton takes on Southwest DeKalb while Jonesboro gets another shot at powerhouse Miller Grove, which has won three straight titles. The Wolverines are trying to join an exclusive club by winning for the fourth straight time.

Only two boys teams in Georgia — Lanier (1925-28) and Westover (1990-93) — have won four straight titles.

But don’t expect the players and coaches to get caught up in the “who has the best region” hype.

“It’s more for the fans,” Southwest DeKalb coach Dwayne McKinney said. “As a coach, I don’t get caught up in it. It does tell you that there’s a tremendous talent level in these areas.”

This will not be the first time these two regions have been in this position. In 2007, Tucker defeated North Clayton and Columbia defeated Riverdale in the final four.

It should be noted that a representative from these two regions played in the football finals at the Georgia Dome last December.

Again, Region 6-AAAA got the better of it when Tucker defeated Lovejoy for the title.

“This lets you know how good overall the athletic programs are in the two counties,” North Clayton coach Martisse Troup said.

Now, can a Clayton County team come out on top?

History and the championship pedigree is definitely on DeKalb County’s side. The county has produced 32 state basketball champions while Clayton County has five.

The last state title for a Clayton County team was in 1993, when North Clayton won the Class AAA title.

But history and tradition will not matter tonight.

It is about the team that wants it more.

“It very rare that two regions have all four of the final teams playing,” Miller Grove coach Sharman White said. “It’s going to be a battle. It truly shows the supremacy of these two regions. People have been arguing who is the strongest this year.”

That question can be answered today.