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MVP Wilkins makes sure GAC isn't denied

LILBURN -- Players don't usually win MVP honors after scoring six points in the tournament championship game.

Few players, though, do the other things as impressively as Isaiah Wilkins did for Greater Atlanta Christian on Tuesday night.

The 6-foot-6 junior blocked seven shots, grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out eight assists as the Spartans defeated Southwest DeKalb 67-49 to win the boys championship of the 16th annual Parkview Tip-Off Classic.

Wilkins, the stepson of former NBA great Dominique Wilkins, can score, as he showed while totalling 43 points in the Panthers' first two tournament games. But it is the other parts of his game that make him so irreplaceable.

"He gets in shooters' minds," GAC coach Eddie Martin said of Wilkins' shot blocking. "He changes everything."

GAC (3-0) trailed 12-11 at the end of the first quarter and was ahead only 30-22 at halftime. But the Spartans outscored Southwest DeKalb 23-8 in the third quarter to go up 53-30 and led by as many as 28 points in the final period.

"They burned us early and we made some adjustments at halftime," Martin said. "Some games you win pretty and some games you win ugly. This one was ugly at times, but I'll sure take it."

Point guard Collin Swinton had 20 points-- 14 in the first half -- and fellow senior Delano Spencer added 19. Spencer, who joined Wilkins on the all-tournament team, hit four 3-pointers and Swinton made two.

Spencer (25), Wilkins (22) and Swinton (20) combined for 67 points in GAC's 76-57 victory over McEachern in Monday's semifinals, but the Spartans had a little better scoring balance this time.

Troy Morrison had eight points, while Eric Jamison scored six and Tyler Hamilton four off the bench.

Tavaris Hall scored 16 points and Taboris Griggs added 11 for Southwest DeKalb, which reached the Class AAAA championship game last season. The Panthers (2-1) pulled away late to defeat Chattahoochee 69-49 on Monday in the semifinals.

GAC capped three straight trips to the Class AA Final Four with state titles in 2010 and 2011, but was beaten in the state quarterfinals last season by eventually runner-up Manchester 48-46.

This team, though, is already playing like it is determined to go farther this season.

"It's a long season and we're very early," said Martin, who won three Class AAAAA state championships at Norcross. "But we're doing some things really well at times."

Fayette County 68, Parkview 45

Fayette County (1-2) defeated Parkview 68-45 for seventh place. T.J. Thomas scored 16 points for the Panthers (0-3). Fayette County led 39-24 at halftime.

Chattahoochee 65, McEachern 58

Trey Archambeau had 27 points and Markus Terry scored 23 as Chattahoochee (2-1) took third place with a 65-58 victory over McEachern, which had upset four-time Class AAAA state champion Miller Grove in the first round. McEachern (1-2) led 32-26 at halftime, but allowed Chattahoochee a six-point possession with two technicals late in the third quarter.