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2023-24 GHSA Basketball State Championship Recaps

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Greenforest EaglesR7 #1 No. 1 Greenforest 39, R3 #1 No. 3 Montgomery County 28: A 10-0 run spanning the end of the third quarter into the fourth quarter gave Greenforest (27-5) the separation needed to pull away from a scrappy Montgomery County (30-2) team, giving the Eagles their first state title. Greenforest trailed 8-5 after one and led 14-12 at the break as both teams struggled from the field, a combined 9-58. In the third quarter Greenforest began to establish 6-foot-6 UCF-signee Arek Angui inside, seeing the lanky post score with her turnaround jumper. The Eagles outscored Montgomery County 26-8 in the paint after being tied 4-4 at the half. Greenforest only won the rebounding battle 46-45. Angui finished with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks while Milica Lazarevic added 11 points and 5 rebounds. Montgomery County was held to 9-62 (14.5%) shooting. Star senior Marley Bell ended her career with 13 points, 13 rebounds, 2 steals and 3 blocks. Amire Banks added 7 points on 3-22 shooting.

Greenforest Eagles R7 #1 No. 1 Greenforest 68, R6 #2 Manchester 39: Greenforest (27-4) captured their fifth state title using a 22-7 third quarter to bury Manchester (20-9), outscoring the Blue Devils 38-20 in the second half. Up 30-19 at the half, Greenforest’s size and sharpshooting proved too much for the Blue Devils to contend with. Elijah Lewis dropped in 18 points to pace Greenforest. The Eagles held the Blue Devils scoreless for nearly three minutes as Greenforest soared ahead on a 7-0 run. Caleb Kawela provided the Eagles with 11 points and 11 rebounds as Greenforest outrebounded Manchester 56-29 and outscored the Blue Devils 34-20 in the paint. Daniel Daramola totaled 9 points, 7 rebounds and 1 block. Greenforest shot 39% from the field compared to Manchester’s 27.5%. The Blue Devils were led by Treylin Jones who finished with 14 points. Daryus Bryant collected 10 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal and 2 blocks.


Baldwin BravettesR2 #1 No. 1 Baldwin 47, R1 #1 No. 2 Hardaway 39: After seeing a state title slip away last year, Baldwin (29-2) rallied from down 27-11 in the third quarter to stun Hardaway (27-5) for the school’s fourth state title, first since three-peating between 1986-88. With both teams playing 1-3-1 zones, points were hard to come by, especially in the first half. Hardaway led 15-9 at the break, holding the Bravettes to three points in the second quarter. The Hawks got momentum early in the third quarter building a 27-11 lead at the 5:18 mark riding a 12-2 run, forcing turnovers and getting balanced contributions offensively. Baldwin stormed back with 16-2 run highlighted by a 13-0 spurt to close the gap to 29-27 with 6:55 to play in the fourth quarter, but Hardaway would respond and drew Janaye Walker’s fourth foul at the 5:17 mark up 32-29. Mount St. Mary’s-signee Madison Ruff converted a tough And-1 to knot the game at 36 with 3:22 to play. Walker fouled out at the 1:31 mark tied at 39, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Ruff struck again at the 1:14 mark, finding Kassidy Neal for a hoop to give Baldwin their first lead since 2-0 50 seconds into the game. Ruff, who scored nine of her team-high 17 points in the fourth quarter, also finished with 8 rebounds and 2 assists. The Hawks closed the game on a 16-3 run, including scoring the final 11 points of the game as the Hawks were held scoreless over the final 2:48. Neal finished with 9 points and 7 rebounds for the Bravettes who outscored Hardaway 22-10 in the final frame. The Hawks were led by Adazha Burrell’s 13 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Akilah Shelton posted 12 points, 9 rebounds, 3 steals and 3 blocks while Mikayla Johnson netted 9 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists, all her points in the second half.

North Oconee TitansR8 #1 No. 3 North Oconee 65, R6 #1 No. 5 Holy Innocents’ 60 : A balanced attack and bevy of three-pointers helped North Oconee (30-3) upend Holy Innocents’ (26-7) for their first state title in school history. Down 29-25 at the half, the Titans went on a 14-0 run sprung by four consecutive threes to jump ahead 44-33. Holy Innocents’ wouldn’t lead again after the stretch which saw freshman Justin Wise bury three of his five three-pointers en route to finishing with 19 points. North Oconee would go 9-24 from deep, including 6-12 from distance in the second half. Khamari Brooks, who did a great job defending Caleb Wilson in the first half, picked up his fourth foul with 1:33 to play in the third quarter. Wilson quickly got to work, and propelled the Golden Bears to a 7-1 run to finish the third quarter down 45-40. Fast forward to 39.1 seconds left in regulation, Holy Innocents’ still trailed 60-57 after Devin Hutcherson ripped away steal under the North Oconee basket for two of his 23 points to pair with his 13 rebounds. The Golden Bears got a stop on defense but with Wilson trapped in the corner on offense, the star junior called a timeout but had none left, resulting in a technical foul where Justin Payne split a pair of free throws to put the game out of reach for good. Wilson finished with 26 points (9-11 FT; 3-4 3PT), 18 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks but the balance of North Oconee was too much. Byrd Carter piled in 20 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block while Brooks tallied 14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Evan Montgomery provided 7 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block while Payne had 5 points, 8 assists and 2 steals. The Titans beat the Golden Bears in transition, outscoring them 12-2 in fastbreaks and turning 12 Holy Innocents’ turnovers into 15 points while turning the ball over only six times.



Mt. Paran EaglesR6 #1 No. 1 Mt. Paran 59, R4 #2 No. 2 Josey 52: Mt. Paran (29-3) didn’t make a field goal the last 6:18 of the game but the Eagles shot 12-24 from the foul line in the fourth quarter and 23-40 for the game to three-peat as state champs. Campbell-signee Ciara Alexander put in 22 points and 7 rebounds while shooting 8-13 from the line while Jessica Fields collected 16 points, 14 rebounds, 2 steals and 6 blocks, going 10-15 from the line. Tied at 27 at the half, Josey (28-4) never led in the second half as the Eagles slowly pulled away. Kerri Fluellen was electric for Josey with 11 of her 20 points coming in the first quarter before fouling out at the 1:58 mark down 53-46. KeAsia Henderson supplied support with 17 points. Mt. Paran saw Kitali Youmans post 5 points, 10 rebounds, 9 assists and 5 steals. Jacalyn Myrthil had 11 points.

Westside-AugustaR4 #1 No. 1 Westside-Augusta 64, R3 #1 No. 4 Toombs County 29: Westside-Augusta (28-4) controlled the pace from the opening tip, jumping out to a 10-0 run to race away from Toombs County (29-3) to claim their third consecutive title. 11 players scored for Westside led by Lavonta Ivery’s 14 points and Jarious Adkinson’s electrifying 11 off the bench highlighted by a handful of dunks. The Patriots outscored the Bulldogs 34-6 in the paint, 12-0 in transition and 28-6 via the bench. Dominic Eason led Toombs County with 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks. The Bulldogs trailed 16-7 after one and 31-14 at the half. Westside held Toombs County to just eight made field goals and a 24.2% success rate. The Patriots converted on 26 attempts and took 20 more shots than the Dogs.


  1. North Hall
  2. Commerce
  3. Trion/Lowndes


Maynard Jackson JaguarsR5 #1 No. 2 Maynard Jackson 58, R5 #2 No. 4 Midtown 44: For the fourth time this season, Maynard Jackson (29-1) defeated region rival Midtown (27-6) to claim the program’s elusive first state title. Down 14-10 after the first quarter, the Jaguars ripped off a 14-0 run which grew to a 24-6 spurt that gave Maynard Jackson an 11-point lead midway through the third quarter after holding a 28-22 advantage at halftime. Turnovers were the story as they were all year for the Knights against Maynard Jackson, coughing the ball up 22 times after turning it over 29, 17 and 17 times during their first three meetings. The Jaguars scored 27 points off turnovers and netted 18 fastbreak points. Briaiah Lewis was held to six minutes in the first half after picking up two fouls and finished her career with 1 point and 10 rebounds. Midtown trimmed the lead to 38-35 with 6:33 to play on a Devin Bockman jumper, two of her game-high 23 points on 7-11 shooting, 4-5 from beyond the arc, but the Jags would respond with a 9-0 run which featured a three-pointer from Kennedie Cooper, Maynard Jackson’s first make from distance after missing their first 11 attempts.  The Jaguars outscored the Knights 36-12 in the paint. Shakira Gresham led Maynard Jackson with 21 points, 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 5 steals and 2 blocks. Aaliyah Weaver posted 13 points while Taliah Cornish added 11. Hailey Wortmann battled foul trouble and provided the Knights with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks.

Kell LonghornsR6 #1 No. 1 Kell 62, R2 #1 No. 3 Eagle’s Landing 51: After beating Eagle’s Landing 61-53 last year in the state championship, the Longhorns (28-3) topped the Eagles (23-8) again behind a decisive 8-0 run in the fourth quarter. Kell led wire-to-wire in a close game, up 26-24 at the half. A 6-0 run from Eagle’s Landing knotted the score at 35 at the 2:29 mark of the third quarter but the Longhorns closed on a subsequent 7-0 spurt keyed by a Connor Staphylaris corner three right before the buzzer to surge ahead 45-37. Staphylaris, who finished with 9 points, drilled back-to-back threes part of an 8-0 jolt that pushed Kell to a 55-42 advantage with 4:51 left in regulation. Before the Staphylaris daggers, it was South Florida-signee CJ Brown who answered every Eagles threat. Brown tallied 21 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 block to close his career, excelling at getting to the rim and scoring through traffic. Alabama A&M-signee Jaylen Colon provided 14 points while Cannon Richards posted 8 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Eagle’s Landing saw Chris Morris II record 17 points and 6 rebounds. Dwight Brown pitched in 9 points and 8 rebounds.



Hebron Christian LionsR8 #1 No. 1 Hebron Christian 62, R7 #1 No. 2 Wesleyan 60: A Chit-Chat Wright three-pointer trimmed the Hebron Christian (30-2) lead to 19-18 at the 4:20 mark of the second quarter but the Lions responded with a 13-2 run to close the half and lead 32-20 at the break, before surviving in the second half to repeat as state champs. Hebron outrebounded a relentless Wesleyan (27-4) 40-27 and held the Wolves to 31% from the field. Danielle Osho posted 14 points and 15 rebounds in the win. Texas-signee Bryanna Preston powered Wesleyan with 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Wolves closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run to enter the fourth down 47-35 after trailing by as many as 23 points and sliced the lead to 49-40 after a Shayla Bahr three but Johanna Potter fouled out with 4 points for Wesleyan at the 6:02 mark. A pair of Wright free throws put the Wolves behind 55-48 with 2:40 left and trailed 61-56 with 20.6 seconds left after a Wright three. The Georgia Tech-signee finishing with 24 points, 14 coming in the fourth quarter sparking a frantic comeback, outscoring Hebron 25-15 in the final period. Following a technical foul on the Hebron bench and a foul on a jump shot, the Wolves found themselves down just two with 6.8 left to play. Coming out of a timeout, the Wolves were unable to get a shot up, turning the ball over.

Sandy Creek PatriotsR5 #1 No. 1 Sandy Creek 74, R3 #2 Johnson-Savannah 49: Sandy Creek (27-3) ripped off a 27-4 run in the first half to pull ahead for good and claim their second consecutive state title. The upset-minded Atomsmashers (20-12) went blow for blow with the Patriots, tied at 11 midway through the first quarter before Sandy Creek found their groove. Jacobi Robinson netted eight of his 18 points in the frame to spring the Pats to an early lead. Sandy Creek shot 6-13 from beyond the arc in the first half to build a 42-22 lead and finished the game 8-19. James Madison-signee Micah Smith posted 15 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 5 blocks. Five Patriots reached double figures with Jared White (12), Missouri baseball-signee PJ Green (12) and Amari Brown (11) all producing. Joshua Quarterman paced Johnson-Savannah with 20 points and 5 rebounds. Favion Kirkwood netted 16 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.


Lizzie McGrath

First Place: Lizzie McGrath – Riverwood
Second Place: I’ziah McCutchins – Trion
Third Place: Ellie Southards – Rabun County/Amira Walters-Smith – Colquitt County


Marist War EaglesR4 #1 No. 3 Marist 67, R8 #1 No. 2 North Forsyth 48: Marist (30-1) shot a blistering 63% and saw Kate Harpring rack up 27 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals and 1 block before fouling out at the 2:29 mark up 62-45 as an encore performance after netting 47 points in the Final Four to power the War Eagles to their second title in three years. Tied at 16 after one quarter, North Forsyth (31-1) fell off pace, outscored 16-7 in the second quarter to enter the break down 32-23. Abby Lindsay sank a pair of threes for the War Eagles in the frame and finished with 13 points. Hannah Faklaris posted 16 points. North Forsyth got a buzzer-beating three from London Weaver to send the game into the fourth quarter trailing 54-38. Weaver would finish with 15 points and 4 rebounds. Gabbie Gliatta tacked on 16 points and Emma Rose scored 10.

Riverwood RaidersR4 #4 No. 7 Riverwood 67, R5 #1 No. 1 Alexander 63 OT: History was made in scintillating fashion as Riverwood (25-7) stunned the defending state champs after trailing 12-1 to open the game, forcing overtime on a pair of Vanderbilt-signee Karris Bilal free throws at the 1:04 mark of regulation. Riverwood trailed Alexander (29-3) at the half 29-26, shooting just 19% from the field, but buoyed by JR Leonard’s 13-16 shooting from the foul line. In total, Leonard would go 19-23 from the charity stripe as the Raiders went 25-32 while shooting just 2-23 from beyond the arc. Riverwood took their first lead of the game with 6:20 to play in the third quarter, 32-31, but would lead for just 16 seconds before falling behind again. Alexander held a 43-39 lead through three quarters but couldn’t gain any separation. Kennesaw State-signee Braedan Lue led the Cougars with 26 points and 13 rebounds while Chris Hutchinson stepped up with 15 points and 9 rebounds, but fouls were a major problem throughout, especially in the backcourt as Alexander was whistled for 27 fouls as they struggled to contain Leonard. The star junior gave Riverwood their first lead since early in the third quarter when he scored at the 3:30 mark of the fourth quarter to go ahead 52-51. From there, the score would see-saw, Jermaine Freeman putting the Cougars up 54-52 after converting an And-1 with three minutes to play but the South Cobb transfer would foul out with 1:04 to play with 8 points as Bilal netted a pair of free throws to deadlock the game at 57, forcing overtime. In the extra period, Bilal hit a pull-up jumper with 2:13 to play to take the lead, two of his 17 points to pair with his 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Jesse Graves, who had 5 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 1 steal, hit a short jumper in the lane to go up 61-57 with 90 seconds left before Leonard sank two more free throws to lead 63-57, part of his 31 points and 5 rebounds. Lue trimmed the lead to 64-63 with 26.8 left to play, but Kaleb Bilal coolly sank a pair of free throws before Leonard buried the dagger from the line to make it a four-point game. The Raiders led for just 2:57 of the game, trailing Alexander for 27:12.



St. Francis KnightsR6 #1 No. 1 St. Francis 74, R6 #2 No. 2 Galloway 71 OT: A 6:30 scoring drought for Galloway (19-11) in the second quarter nearly cost the Scots a chance at a state title as St. Francis (24-7) utilized a 16-0 run to jump ahead 30-17 and lead 30-19 at the half before a Tianna Thompson barrage got the Scots back in it before ultimately falling to St. Francis (24-7) for the third time this season and second straight year in the state championship. Thompson exploded in the third quarter with 11 points and two free throws from freshman Sophia Louis-Pierre pushed Galloway ahead 40-38 before settling for a 42-40 deficit after three quarters. Austin Peay-signee SaMya Wyatt, the reigning Class A D-I Player of the Year, was saddled with foul trouble and attempted just two shots over 14 minutes over the first three quarters. Wyatt, who scored 13 of her 27 points in the fourth quarter of last year’s championship, scored eight points over the fourth quarter and overtime to finish her career with 10 points on the day. A transition layup from Thompson, a Georgia Tech-signee, put the Scots up 62-60 with 69 seconds left but Wyatt would knot the game up from the foul line seconds later and the score would head into the extra period deadlocked at 62 after a Desi Taylor layup with three seconds left rimmed out for the Knights. Up two in overtime, Nya Young delivered a dagger three from the wing with 32 seconds left to take a five-point lead. Freshman Giaunni Rogers led St. Francis with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists while Amelia Basit double-doubled with 12 points and 11 rebounds.  Thompson led all scorers with 37 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 2 blocks. Louis-Pierre stepped up with 18 points and Taryn Thompson netted 8 in a game that featured 12 lead changes and 14 tied scores.

Mt. Vernon MustangsR6 #1 No. 1 Mt. Vernon 48, R6 #2 No. 2 Paideia 40: Paideia (17-13) scrapped and clawed but a 17-4 third quarter did in the baby snakes as Mt. Vernon (24-9) was able to dominate inside to pull away for the school’s first state title, beating Paideia for the second time this season after cruising to the Region 6 title 66-48.  After being outscored 10-4 in the paint in the first half, trailing 23-18 on the scoreboard against Paideia, the Mustangs outscored the Pythons in the paint 12-0 in the third quarter and went on a 12-1 run to lead 35-27 following three quarters. Mt. Vernon would finish the game with a 22-16 advantage in the paint and outrebounded the Pythons 34-24. West Georgia-signee Xavier Shegog led the charge after a 1-point first half, totaling 18 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocks. KJ Garris added 10 points and 8 rebounds while Sha’Yah Goba racked up 10 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks. Georgia State-signee Trey Scott had 9 points, 5 rebounds and 4 blocks, the Mustangs blocking 10 shots total. Freshman Tristan Mitchell powered Paideia with 16 points. Frank Jackson fouled out with 5 points and David Oglesby-Smith fouled out with 4. CJ Harper netted 6 points.


  1. Jeremy Bell – Clinch County
  2. Chris Perry – Bradwell Institute
  3. Evan Montgomery – North Oconee
  4. Dylan Barbra – East Coweta


Grayson RamsR4 #1 No. 1 Grayson 65, R3 #1 No. 4 North Paulding 44: There was no let down on the pursuit to perfection as Georgia’s best rolled to their first ever state title, Grayson (32-0) racing past North Paulding (25-7) for the second time this season. A slow start saw both teams tied at 2 early on, but a decisive 15-0 run moved the Rams ahead 17-2 and would never trail. Georgia Tech-signee Danielle Carnegie tallied 21 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals while Florida Atlantic-signee Erin Rodgers contributed 18 points and 6 rebounds. Grayson outscored North Paulding 42-20 in the paint and scored 27 points off 19 Wolfpack turnovers, 14 miscues which came in the first half. The Rams recorded 14 fastbreak points and 22 second chance points. Tatum Brown had 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals while Nicholls State-signee Malaya Jones added on 10 points and 3 assists. North Paulding received 12 points from Marina Sippola and 7 apiece from Wheeling-signee Jayda Jackson and Ava Andrews while Andrea Landrum netted 8 points off the bench.

Grayson RamsR4 #1 No. 1 Grayson 51, R3 #1 No. 2 McEachern 41: Grayson (30-2) edged Rutgers-signee Ace Bailey and McEachern (26-6) for the second time this season to finally claim the program’s first state title and sweep Class 7A along with the girls. McEachern opened the game ice cold, just 1-17 from the field but trailed only 11-5 after one quarter. The Indians surged ahead 22-20 at the 1:42 mark of the second, but Grayson closed on a 6-0 run highlighted by two Jacob Wilkins slams to enter the break up 26-22 and never trailed again, the Rams leading for 29:15 minutes compared to just 33 seconds of an Indian advantage. The UGA-commit Wilkins had multiple highlight plays with slams that broke the back of the Indians, finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Bailey did his best to lead McEachern, scoring 14 points in the first half, but the five-star prospect was clamped down to just 18 total points in the game to go along with his 6 rebounds and 2 assists, finishing 8-20 from the field as the Indians as a whole shot 30.5%, buoyed by a 53.3% second quarter in which they scored 17 points. The Rams outscored McEachern’s bench 11-0 and outrebounded the Indians 47-27, College of Sequoias-commit Ahmad Clark providing a spark off the bench with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Purdue-signee Gicarri Harris tallied 9 points and 5 rebounds followed by Western Carolina-signee CJ Hyland’s 8 points, 9 rebounds and 3 assists. McEachern received 10 points and 6 rebounds from Nnadozie Onyirimba, the only other Indian in double figures.

2022-23 GHSA Basketball State Championship Recaps

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Clinch CountyR2 #2 No. 5 Clinch County 45,
R8 #1 No. 1 Lake Oconee Academy 42: The Pantherettes (27-4) held the defending state champs and wire-to-wire number one-ranked team scoreless over the final 3:38 to capture their first title since 1993.  Clinch County led Lake Oconee Academy (28-3) the entire first half until the Titans surged ahead on an 8-2 run to start the third quarter to move ahead 28-22. Lake Oconee Academy led 36-30 after three quarters, but struggled to contain Clinch County’s size. Tyana Dorsey finished with 19 points and 20 rebounds, leading the Pantherettes’ charge on the glass, winning the boards 43-31. Freshman Amariah Dean did the vast majority of her damage in the first half, finishing with 9 points, 10 rebounds and 5 steals. Lake Oconee Academy was powered by Jada Williams’ 16 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. A 5-0 flurry from Williams gave the Titans’ their last lead of the game at the 3:38 mark, 42-41. Amyieon Grady, the Pantherettes’ leading scorer, came to life in the second half and provided 11 points. Lake Oconee Academy had a final look with 4.2 seconds coming out of a timeout, but Hannah Heinen, who tallied 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 steals, saw her shot fall short. Clinch County outscored the Titans 15-6 in the final frame and dominated the interior outscoring Lake Oconee Academy 36-8 in the paint.

Wilkinson CountyR5 #1 No. 4 Wilkinson County 40, R2 #1 No. 9 Charlton County 36: It took until the 1:56 mark of the fourth quarter to take their first lead of the game, but Wilkinson County (26-6) found a way to outlast Charlton County (29-3) after fouling out 6-foot-8 sophomore Elyiss Williams to capture their 11th state title and move to a remarkable 11-0 in the big game. Wilkinson County trailed 11-6 after one and 19-16 at the half as Charlton County’s zone stymied the Blue Storm. After three quarters of play, the Indians maintained a 25-20 advantage, but foul trouble continued to pile up. After hitting an important corner three, Jaylen King fouled out following a Justin Stanley answer at the 4:13 mark with the score 32-29 in favor of Charlton County. A Kwaveon Hill turnaround jumper gave the Blue Storm their first lead at 33-32 before just over a minute later Williams fouled out for the Indians with 10 points, 20 rebounds and 6 blocks. Charlton County would not score with Williams on the bench, a 5-0 finish from the Warriors as Stanley scored seven of his 11 points in the quarter. Hill finished with 12 points and 6 rebounds. The Indians had chances to extend the lead and draw closer late after trailing, but shot 2-5 from the foul line in the period and just 8-16 for the game.  Jarvis Wright netted 10 points and collected 5 steals in the loss.


Griffin BearsR2 #1 No. 2 Griffin 51, R2 #2 No. 3 Baldwin 47: Griffin (27-4) claimed their first-ever state title, outlasting severe foul trouble the entire game. Zy Thompson and Samiah Puckett logged just 17 and 7 minutes, respectively as Janaye Walker chewed up the interior for the Bravettes (23-9). The sophomore finished with 21 points, 19 rebounds and 3 assists battling Griffin’s long front line, fouling out Puckett, an East Tennessee State-commit in the process.  The Bravettes led 25-20 at the half and could have been more, but Baldwin shot just 5-14 from the line and 11-21 for the game. Following a scoreless first half, Mississippi Valley State-signee Leah Turner found her groove, scoring all 17 of her points in the second half, five buckets coming via the three-point line where the Bears shot 9-22.  Griffin was in trouble early in the fourth as fellow MVSU-signee Aaliyah Duranham, who finished with a team-high 20 points and 7 rebounds, picked up her fourth foul at the 5:45 mark with Baldwin in front 43-38. Baldwin’s final bucket came on an And-1 basket from Kassidy Neal to make it 47-43 with 85 seconds remaining, but the sophomore who had 12 points on the night missed the free throw. Griffin then got a three from Zamiyah Hosley, her first hoop of the game, to make it a one-point game with 1:05 left. From there, Turner cashed in her fifth three of the night and on the ensuing possession got a steal and threw the ball off a Bravette to give possession back to the Bears all of a sudden with a 49-47 advantage with only 23.4 seconds left. Griffin closed on an 8-0 run as Turner scored eight points in the final frame. The win marked the Bears’ third in four games against Region 2 rival Baldwin. The Bravettes won the paint, outrebounding the Bears 40-26 and outscoring them 26-18 inside, but Griffin was plus-27 from the three-point line while Baldwin was 0-9 from deep.

Pace Academy KnightsR5 #2 No. 2 Pace Academy 66, R4 #1 No. 5 Fayette County 54: An 8-0 start to the third quarter pushed the Pace Academy (25-7) lead to 47-32, a lead the Knights would never lose as they won their fifth state title in school history.  A high scoring first half saw the Knights hold a 39-32 lead at the break after being tied with Fayette County (26-6) after one period. The tandem of LJ Moore and Kyle Greene scored 30 of Pace Academy’s first 32 points and finished with 42 combined for the night. The Knights punished the Tigers inside, outscoring Fayette County 52-22 in the paint and outrebounding them 41-19. Moore, who finished with 23 points and 7 rebounds, shot 10-16 from the field. Pace Academy led 55-42 after three quarters after winning the frame 16-10. Fayette County was led by Robert Hurst’s 12 points and Tobi Ijiwoye’s 10. 



Mt. Paran EaglesR6 #1 No. 1 Mt. Paran 67, R8 #1 No. 3 Banks County 44: Banks County’s game plan of attacking Jessica Fields early worked in terms of taking the star sophomore off the court, but the Leopards (28-4) were unable to take advantage of just six minutes of Fields in the first half as Mt. Paran (31-1) led 18-8 after one period and 31-22 at the half en route to repeating as state champs. Fields picked up her third foul at the 2:16 mark of the first quarter with the Eagles up 9-4. Mt. Paran pushed their lead to 12 points before Banks County closed the gap at 26-20, but the Eagles finished the half on a 5-2 run as Ciara Alexander scored 16 first half points. The junior would finish with 26 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks while shooting 12-16 from the field. A 21-11 third quarter gave the Eagles all the separation they would need to hold off Banks County.  Fields quickly made an impact upon returning to the floor, tallying 15 points, 3 rebounds and 1 block in the third quarter. She would finish with 23 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Banks County was led by Ryleigh Murphy’s 14 points, Addison Hoard’s 10 points and Emmanuel-signee Kamryn Grier and Carley Segars’ 8 points apiece.  The Eagles shot 59% compared to Banks County’s 37% while outrebounding the Leopards 32-21 and outscoring them in the paint 40-28. The Eagles outscored Banks County 36-22 in the second half.

Westside-Augusta PatriotsR4 #1 No. 1 Westside-Augusta 89, R8 #1 No. 7 Providence Christian 81 OT: In what was an all-time classic, somehow, someway, Westside-Augusta (25-7) was able to repeat as state champs, withstanding a 17 three-pointer barrage from the high-octane Storm (27-5). The Patriots found themselves down 36-32 at the half as Providence Christian went 7-15 from deep and would finish a blistering 17-34 from beyond the arc. In the third quarter the Storm grew their lead to 50-39 midway through the period but AuMauri Tillman would refuse to let go of the rope. The senior poured in 25 of his game-high 36 points in the second half including 11 in the third quarter but Providence Christian continued to trade twos for threes as Devin McClain scored 10 of his 21 points to match Tillman in the quarter. After three, Westside still had work to do down 58-54. With 3:47 to play, Jalexs Ewing drove to the basket to give the Patriots their first lead since the 6:57 mark of the third quarter as Westside inched ahead 63-61. It looked like McClain may have landed a dagger in the corner off a Thomas Malcolm assist in transition to make it 71-69 with 36 seconds left but Westside-Augusta saw Khalon Hudson snatch an offensive rebound  underneath the basket with 14 seconds to play and from a tough angle, some how spin the ball up and in without using the glass to tie the game at 71 and eventually send it to overtime. Malcolm opened with a three for Providence Christian but Westside surged ahead 79-76. Xavier Goss fouled out for Westside after they got a loose ball and were fouled. Goss was whistled for a technical foul but before he left the game got a chance to extend the lead with a pair of free throws but missed both. Samuel Thacker, who had team-high 22 points off 7-12 three-point shooting split his pair of technical foul shots, leaving the Storm down 79-77 with 58.6 seconds remaining. The Patriots pushed the lead out to four points on a DeMarco Middleton transition finish, but the Storm immediately rushed the ball down and found McClain for his fifth three to make it 81-80 with 38.7 seconds left. Up 83-80 with 27.7 seconds to play, the Patriots saw Dontrell Jackson, who played just eight minutes, rip away a steal from Thacker, giving the ball back to the Patriots. From there, Jackson missed a pair of free throws but got a crucial offensive rebound, the Patriots collecting 20 on the day and outrebounding the Storm 42-27 overall. Jackson would split a pair but then it was Ewing’s turn to sneak in for another offensive rebound to help put the game away has he went 1/2 from the stripe. Westside-Augusta would outscore the Storm 44-20 in the paint, net 23 points off turnovers and score 28 second chance points to survive the Storm’s unbelievable three-point shooting. Hudson posted 21 points and 13 rebounds for the Patriots while Ewing (18) and Middleton (11) both reached double figures as well. Before fouling out, Kamron Carryl provided the Storm with 16 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 2 steals. Malcolm finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.


First Place: Bella Brick & Landon Mealor – Flowery Branch
Second Place:
Camiya Starks & Damaris Lewis – Griffin
Third Place: Ellie Southards & Cooper Welch – Rabun County


Kell LonghornsR6 #1 No. 1 Kell 57,  R2 #1 No. 2 Warner Robins 36: A 12-3 run to open the second half ballooned the lead to 36-16 and was enough to propel Kell (26-5) to their first-ever state title. The Longhorns led 21-5 early as Warner Robins (28-4) started the game 1-14 from the field with 12 turnovers. The Demonettes got back into it, holding Kell without a field goal over the final 4:43 but still trailed 24-13 at the half. Georgia State-commit Crystal Henderson finished her illustrious career with 29 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists and 7 steals. Jamiah Gregory contributed 15 points while MaKayah Harris had 8. Warner Robins was led by South Carolina State-signee Jada Morgan and Tori Davis’ 8 points apiece.

Kell LonghornsR6 #1 No. 1 Kell 61, R2 #1 No. 2 Eagle’s Landing 53: Kell (28-2) climbed the mountain top to their first state title, using an 18-6 fourth quarter to erase a tough 24-10 third quarter in which Eagle’s Landing (29-2) rallied to take as large as a six-point lead after trailing the entire first half. Kell was in good shape early, limiting Eagle’s Landing’s chances at transition offense and ripping off an 11-0 run to seize control at 18-6 and eventually finish the first quarter up 18-10. At the half, the Longhorns led 33-23 and controlled the glass 19-9 even with Auburn-commit Peyton Marshall held to just four minutes of action after picking up two fouls. As soon as Marshall got back on the floor to start the third quarter he converted two slam dunks to give the Longhorns’ their largest lead of the game at 37-23 at the 6:48 mark. From there, Eagle’s Landing picked themselves off the mat however behind Mercer-signee David Thomas who finished with a game-high 23 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. Thomas netted 10 points in the quarter and helped spark a 16-2 run that tied the game at 39. Moments later with 1:32 on the clock, Eagle’s Landing took their first lead of the game on a pair of Thomas free throws, making it 43-41. The Eagle’s largest lead of the game was six points and settled for a 47-43 advantage after three quarters. Kell responded with a 7-2 spurt to open the fourth quarter, moving ahead 50-49. With 3:40 to play, Marshall checked back in with four fouls and went to work, going on a personal 5-0 run to give the Longhorns the lead for good at 55-51 with 2:01 remaining. Upon Marshall’s return, Kell closed the game on an 11-2 run. CJ Brown led the Longhorns with 22 point, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks while Cannon Richards provided 11 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal and 2 timely blocks. Kenneth Brayboy gave Eagle’s Landing 12 points, 6 rebounds and 5 blocks including back-to-back alley oop dunks during the Eagles’ 16-2 stretch.



Hebron Christian LionsR8 #1 No. 1 Hebron Christian 68,  R7 #2 No. 3 Lumpkin County 36: Cold shooting doomed Lumpkin County (26-5) as Hebron Christian (32-0) completed a perfect season. The Indians shot just 23% from the field while the Lions connected at a 53% rate including 7-16 from beyond the arc. Hebron Christian outrebounded the Indians 37-26, outscored them in the paint 32-14 and and forced 18 turnovers. The Lions never trailed, holding a 15-7 lead after one, 30-19 at the half and used a 16-6 third quarter to extend the lead to 46-25 heading into the fourth quarter. Aubrey Beckham led the Lions with 16 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists while Ja’Kerra Butler added 16 points, 13 rebounds and 2 blocks. Amiya Porter added 12 points and Nickyia Daniel had 11. Averie Jones powered the Indians with 20 points, 14 which came in the first half.

Sandy Creek PatriotsR5 #1 No. 2 Sandy Creek 66, R5 #2 No. 7 Cedar Grove 38: Finally after close calls and heartbreak, Sandy Creek (26-6) captured their elusive state title for the first time in school history using an 18-0 second quarter to turn a one-point deficit after eight minutes into a commanding 17-point halftime lead. Cedar Grove (20-10) had a woeful second period, shooting 0-8 with six turnovers as they lost pace with the Patriots. In the third quarter, senior Vic Newsome scored 10 of his 14 points to power the Patriots. A balanced attack saw Micah Smith (17), PJ Green (16) and Amari Brown (10) all reach double figures, Smith adding 7 rebounds and Brown 8 boards. Cedar Grove was led by freshman Manny Green’s 11 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks while Darius Reynolds collected 10 points and 8 rebounds.


First Place: Ellie Southards – Rabun County
Second Place: Bella Brick – Flowery Branch
Third Place: I’ziah McCutchins – Trion
Fourth Place: Sariyah Chester – Pelham


River Ridge KnightsR6 #1 No. 1 River Ridge 68, R3 #3 No. 3 Lovejoy 50:  The Knights finally landed a knockout blow in the fourth quarter, ripping off a 10-0 run and holding Lovejoy (26-6) scoreless for the final six minutes of the game to claim the first state title in River Ridge (27-5) history. The Knights led 16-15 after one quarter and 24-17 at the 5:14 mark when Bryanna Preston picked up her third foul. River Ridge extended their lead to 32-19 as Preston was banished to the bench with her fourth foul but Austin Peay-signee La’Nya Foster would sink back-to-back threes to draw the Wildcats closer and would head into the break down 36-29, finishing on a 10-4 run. The Knights sparked a 7-0 spurt to move ahead 43-31 behind Penn-signee Mataya Gayle’s five-straight points and would balloon the lead to 48-34 on a Kayla Cleaveland layup at the 4:35 mark. The defending state champs would claw back however, slashing into the lead with a 7-0 run of their own to make it 48-41, but the Knights would close the quarter up 55-45 as Gayle nailed a shot at the buzzer to extend the lead. Disaster struck for the short-benched Wildcats with 6:25 to play as Preston would foul out with Lovejoy down 58-48. River Ridge would close on a 10-0 run and hold the Wildcats scoreless the rest of the way after a Camiah Muldrow jumper. The Knights forced 19 turnovers converting them into 25 points. River Ridge outscored Lovejoy 26-14 in the paint and outrebounded the Wildcats 38-29. Gayle finished her career with 25 points, 2,015 over her four years , 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 steal, followed by Kayla Cleaveland’s 15 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals before fouling out and missing some time with an ankle injury. River Ridge’s deep attack saw Sophia Pearl provide 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals while Makayla Roberson netted 7 points and Allie Sweet collected 5 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 5 steals and 1 block. Lovejoy was powered by Foster’s 16 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Preston tallied 13 points (10-15 FT), 3 assists and 2 steals before fouling out. Morgan Bone (9) and India McIntosh (8) both stepped up offensively.

Alexander CougarsR5 #2 No. 2 Alexander 64, R1 #1 No. 10 Lee County 42:  A 13-0 run to close the third quarter propelled Alexander (27-5) to their first state title. Down 14-11 at the half and up 26-24 at the break, the Cougars rode Braedan Lue to 11 third quarter points to gain separation. The junior would finish with 26 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks. Following an Ousmane Kromah And-1 putback to tie the game at 33, Alexander seized control with Lue, Chattanooga-signee Noah Melson and JayQuan Nelson powering the charge. Two monster slams by Marvin McGhee and Lue put the exclamation point on the win early in the fourth quarter pushing the lead to 56-38. Melson ended his night with 15 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists while Nelson provided 11 points.  Kromah paced Lee County (28-4) with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Caden King chipped in 8 points and 10 rebounds.



St. Francis KnightsR6 #1 No. 1 St. Francis 76, R6 #2 No. 3 Galloway 74 OT:  St. Francis (27-6) overcame 30 turnovers, foul trouble and an 11-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter to win their fourth state title and first since 2016. The Knights, who beat Galloway (27-6) twice prior this season, leapt out to a 9-2 lead before the Scots rebounded and ripped off a 21-4 run to take control in a high scoring first quarter and head into the second period up 25-18. At the half, the two teams were deadlocked at 35. Both teams shot well from the field but the Knights especially struggled with the Galloway press, turning the ball over 15 times and eight more times in the third quarter where Galloway pulled ahead, North Florida-signee Kyla Cain scoring nine points in the frame after a scoreless first half. The Scots led 58-47 heading into the fourth quarter before the Knights responded with a 9-0 run to make it 58-56 as Sa’Mya Wyatt began to dominate inside. Wyatt would score 13 of her game-high 27 points in the fourth quarter while finishing with 10 rebounds and shooting 11-17 from the field. The Scots led 66-64 briefly with 37 seconds left in regulation but Wyatt would quickly answer with a short jumper and the game would head to overtime knotted at 66. In overtime, the Scots had chance to gain separation with Kennesaw State-signee Kailyn Fields at the line with Galloway leading 74-72 with 1:04 on the clock, but Fields, who finished with 4 points, 7 assists and 8 steals, missed the front end of the one-and-one and Wyatt sank a pair of free throws with 51.7 seconds left. Wyatt found herself at the line once again with 7.6 seconds left and buried a pair to gain the lead for good and finish her night 5-5 from the stripe. Galloway had a last opportunity at the buzzer as Tianna Thompson caught a post entry pass and took a short fadeaway on the block but Anaja Hall, who played a large bulk of the game with four fouls, used her 6-foot-4 reach to alter the shot. Nya Young had 21 points and 4 assists for St. Francis while Desi Taylor tallied 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists before fouling out. Kennesaw State-signee Trynce Taylor finished with 8 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Galloway was led by Tianna Thompson’s 23 points (13-15 FT), 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. Cain posted 15 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists while freshman Taryn Thompson came off the bench to provide 14 points. Danaya Stokes had 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks before fouling out late.

King's Ridge Christian TigersR6 #4 No. 4 King’s Ridge 68, R6 #2 No. 2 Mt. Pisgah 58: Blistering shooting from King’s Ridge (23-10) landed the Tigers their first-ever state title, doing it the hard way as a four-seed through the state playoffs. King’s Ridge lost to region foe Mt. Pisgah (23-9) in their only prior meeting 74-65 in early December, but much had changed in three months as King’s Ridge led 21-9 after one quarter and 40-21 at the half. The Tigers shot 60.9% from the field in the first half and finished the game at 54%. Micah Hoover poured in 21 of his 25 points in the first half and snatched 8 rebounds while Zak Thomas netted 14 of his 24 points in the second half as King’s Ridge held a 54-38 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Micah Tucker wouldn’t let the Patriots go quietly into the night. The star sophomore scored seven points in the third quarter and helped trim the Tiger lead to 57-51 at the 4:19 mark of the fourth quarter after trailing by as many as 22 points, but would foul out with 3:45 remaining and the Patriots down 59-51, finishing his night with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists.  The Patriots got 11 points from Cedric Haynes and 10 from Tyson Pittman but it wasn’t enough for Mt. Pisgah whose only lead of the game came on the opening bucket.


First Place: Jalen Hilliard – McEachern
Second Place: Evan Montgomery – North Oconee
Third Place: Robert Skaggs – Prince Avenue Christian
Fourth Place: Caden Hinton – Trion


Brookwood BroncosR4 #1 No. 1 Brookwood 43, R7 #1 No. 2 Norcross 39: Brookwood (31-1) was outrebounded by the smaller Lady Blue 40-29 and saw Norcross (29-3) a plus-18 in the three-point column but what the defending champs didn’t have was Diana Collins, the Ohio State-signee making all the plays late to guide the Broncos to their first ever title. Norcross jumped out to an early 16-9 lead after one period and held a slim 19-17 advantage heading into the half as they struggled to score. Norcross shot just 25.4% on the night, largely anchored down by a 8:37 scoreless span that wasn’t broken until a Veronaye Charlton layup at the 4:56 mark of the third quarter, the Lady Blue only down 23-21 at the time. Brookwood pushed the lead to 31-26 and would take a 31-28 advantage into the fourth quarter winning the frame 14-9. A quick 5-0 spurt from Charlton, who finished with a team-high 17 points and 8 rebounds, brought the Lady Blue even at 33 all. The Broncos saw Collins pick up her fourth foul at the 3:13 mark leading 35-33 but the Brookwood great would never foul out. She would finish with nine points in the quarter, 15 in the second half and go 5-6 from the line over the final 1:09 to help ice the game with a steal with six seconds to play up three the championship-clincher. Collins ended her illustrious career with 21 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. Danielle Osho had 10 points and 8 rebounds while UAB-signee Jade Weathersby collected 9 points, 12 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks.  Jania Akins provided Norcross with 13 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 steal, nine points coming in the first half. Kayla Lindsey snatched 16 rebounds.

Wheeler WildcatsR5 #1 No. 1 Wheeler 78, R5 #2 No. 8 Cherokee 58: Blistering hot shooting in the first half from Wheeler (26-6) got the Wildcats off to a 22-12 first quarter lead and 39-28 halftime advantage that they would grow throughout the second half en route to their ninth state title and their fourth win over the Warriors this season. Wheeler shot 71.4% from the field in the first half including 7-10 from deep and finished 66% on the night. Cherokee (25-7) scrapped with Wheeler for as long as they could, outshooting the Wildcats 57 attempts to 47 and grabbing 13 offensive rebounds to Wheeler’s 2,  but it wasn’t enough to keep pace.  Wheeler rode a 19-12 third quarter to extend the lead to 58-40 entering the fourth, proving to be the knockout punch. McDonald’s All-American Isaiah Collier scored nine of his 22 points in the third quarter and finished with 3 rebounds and 7 assists. Fellow USC-signee Arrinten Page posted 15 points, 8 rebounds and 4 blocks. Iowa State-signee Jelani Hamilton netted 11 points and 8 rebounds while Ricky McKenzie had 11 points, nine coming in the first half via the three-ball. Cherokee got a balanced attack as well led by Braylin Giddens (17) and Cameron Pope (12). Tayden Owens pitched in 11 points while Dastin Hart battled for 10 points and 9 rebounds. Cherokee shot just 30% and were outscored in the paint 36-18. Wheeler finished the year unbeaten in the state of Georgia.

2021-22 GHSA Basketball State Championship Recaps




Lake Oconee AcademyR8 #1 No. 3 Lake Oconee Academy 45, R7 #1 Hancock Central 29
After leading 7-4 following the first quarter, Hancock Central (18-4) was held scoreless for over five minutes as No. 3 Lake Oconee Academy (26-1) made their move and surged ahead for good to capture their first ever state title under first-year Head Coach Ed Wilson. Georgia Bosart, a sophomore, broke the game open with 10 of her 17 points in the second quarter and finished with 20 rebounds and 6 assists for the game as the Titans took a 22-14 lead into the half. The smaller Titans outrebounded the Bulldogs 48-35. 5-foot-5 junior Jada Williams contributed 4 points, 13 rebounds (6 offensive), 2 assists, 2 steals and 1 block. Jane Monachello and Hannah Heinen scored 9 points each. Hancock was held to 8-48 (16.7%) from the field. Jameria Lawrence and Sonovia Reynolds paced the Bulldogs with 8 points apiece.

Drew Charter
R6 #1 No. 2 Drew Charter 51, R7 #1 No. 6 Warren County 50:
Drew Charter’s wild run to their first ever state title finished with fireworks as the Eagles (31-1) scored the final five points of the game to stun Warren County (25-4). Cam Johnson led Drew Charter with 17 points while Cedric Taylor dominated the paint with 13 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 5 crucial blocks, including a late swat with 1:02 left, blocking a shot that could have pushed the Screamin’ Devils up to 50-45. Warren County led 39-36 after three quarters and led by three with 28 seconds left until Jakobe Strozier split a pair of free throws. Justyn Burnett pushed the Warren County lead to 50-46 with 23 ticks left but Kenyatta Bennett immediately nailed a corner three to trim into the lead with 16.8 seconds remaining.  Just moments later, Warren County turned the ball over on the press as a player fell down and Taylor picked up the steal and was fouled, converting both free throws to take a 51-50 lead with 8.6 seconds on the clock. Strozier had a chance to ice the game from the foul line but missed the front end of the one-and-one. The Devils raced down for a layup at the buzzer but was swallowed up by Strozier and Taylor at the rim. Warren County was led by Ken’vonte Brinkley’s 15 points and 9 rebounds and led by as many as nine points at the 5:27 mark of the third quarter, 33-24. Lorenzo Johnson finished his career with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 steals and 2 blocks.


Marist War EaglesR6 #1 No. 5 Marist 56, R5 #1 No. 1 Luella 54 2OT
The late game heroics of Michigan softball-signee Avery Fantucci lifted No. 5 Marist (28-3) to their first ever state title, taking their first lead of the game since 15-14 at the 2:30 mark of the second quarter on Fantucci’s game-winning layup. No. 1 Luella (27-4) led 46-43 at the end of regulation and thought they had the game won, but Fantucci drilled a three from halfcourt to send the game to overtime. From there, Milani Smith did the heavy lifting for the Lions, finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but Luella, who led 30-19 in the third quarter, could never put away the resilient War Eagles. Marist outscored Luella 10-4 in fast break points and pounded the Lions on the glass, outrebounding Luella 48-29, grabbing 24 offensive rebounds and scoring 15 second chance points. Lexy Faklaris posted 19 points, 13 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals while going 7-8 from the line. Marist as a team would shoot 17-21 from the stripe to Luella’s 6-8. The hero, Fantucci, piled in 18 of her 19 points in the second half and added 7 rebounds, 2 assists, 4 steals and 2 blocks. Luella received 10 points apiece from Trinity Layton and Jacksonville State-signee Evelina Davlakou, who fouled out at the 2:14 mark of double overtime with the Lions up 52-50.

Spencer GreenwaveR2 #1 No. 5 Spencer 62, R1 #1 No. 3 Westover 42
A 25-6 run spanning the third quarter into the fourth put No. 5 Spencer (30-2) ahead for good, clinching the Greenwave their first state title and avenging last season’s disappointing 50-49 buzzer beating loss to Westover (25-4) in the Sweet 16. Spencer led 20-16 at the half but fell behind 26-23 to open the third quarter as Westover opened on a 10-3 run. Defense ignited Spencer as their depth, speed and length overwhelmed the Patriots. Nine Spencer players scored as the entire roster saw significant minutes throughout. Tycen McDaniels led the charge on both ends of the floor, keying the press and finishing with 11 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals and 5 blocks. Spencer held Westover to 28.6% shooting and shot 44.6% themselves. Randall Dixon scored 12 points followed by Tony Montgomery’s 11. Westover was led by Effrin Smith’s 11 points and 5 rebounds. Anthony Milton netted 12 points and Cam Ball scored 9.



Elbert County Blue DevilsR8 #2 No. 2 Elbert County 52, R8 #1 No. 1 Rabun County 44
In a game heavily influenced by the officiating, whistling 56 total fouls, No. 2 Elbert County (28-4) claimed their first ever state title in a war of attrition against region foe No. 1 Rabun County (24-6).  The defense of the Blue Devils was suffocating all throughout, holding Rabun County to 23.9% shooting. Elbert County led 25-19 at the half and built a 39-27 lead before 19 fouls were called in the third quarter including a technical on Coach Josh Jones which breathed life into the LadyCats as Rabun County closed on an 8-0 run to head into the fourth quarter down just 39-35. In the wildness, Terrace Hester was fouled out with 12 points. The LadyCats trimmed the lead to 41-37 with 3:56 remaining but at the 3:01 mark Lucy Hood fouled out with 6 points and Rabun down 41-37. Leading scorer Carley Haban would eventually foul out as well with a game-high 18 points. The Blue Devils saw rim protector Brenasia Faust also foul out with 3 points, 9 rebounds and 1 block. Aaniyah Allen paced Elbert County with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 2 blocks, scoring 10 points in the second half. Niya Moon scored 7 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter to help seal the deal.

Westside-Augusta PatriotsR4 #1 No. 4 Westside-Augusta 64,  R4 #2 No. 3 Butler 55
Trailing 22-11 after one quarter and 38-32 at the half, No. 4 Westside-Augusta (26-4) clamped down No. 2 Butler (22-7) to just 17 second half points to race past the Bulldogs for a state title. Jalexs Ewing powered Westside-Augusta with 16 points and 8 rebounds including a poster dunk in transition. AuMauri Tillman netted 14 points — 10 in the second half — to go with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.  Khalon Hudson kept the Patriots afloat in the first half scoring all of his 10 points and grabbing 5 rebounds.  The Butler offense slowed down in the third quarter, outscored 19-7. The Bulldogs trailed 51-45 after three. Butler was led by Gemaureon Belton’s 12 points off four threes, all in the first half. Elijah Martinez added 11 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists while Chance Finklin picked up 10 points, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.


Woodward Academy War EaglesR3 #1 No. 1 Woodward Academy 72,  R3 #2 No. 2 Forest Park 44
Turnovers and early foul trouble quickly eliminated any hope of a No. 2 Forest Park (22-7) victory as No. 1 Woodward Academy (29-2) beat the Panthers for the seventh-straight time to repeat as state champs. Forest Park hung tough and trailed just 23-17 at the 3:58 mark, but at that moment Jayda Brown picked up her fourth foul and had to head to the bench. From there, Woodward Academy grew a 38-17 halftime lead, closing on a 15-0 run. UGA-signee and Gatorade Player of the Year Sydney Bowles finished her illustrious career with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal. Sara Lewis added 17 points, 3 rebounds and 6 steals. As a team, Woodward Academy forced 39 turnovers.  Yasmine Allen led Forest Park with 19 points. Jayda Brown scored 8 before fouling out early in the third quarter.

Tri-Cities BulldogsR3 #1 No. 3 Tri-Cities 67,
R4 #1 No. 1 Eagle’s Landing 59
No. 3 Tri-Cities (23-5) packed it in with their 1-3-1 zone and held No. 1 Eagle’s Landing (27-4) to 2-18 shooting from the perimeter to hoist their second state title in four years, holding off a furious comeback bid. The Bulldogs used a 14-2 run to grab an early 22-15 lead and would never look back. Noricco Danner scored seven of his 13 points in the third quarter to build a 46-35 lead heading into the final stanza. From there, Eagle’s Landing could never get over the hump. The Eagles cut the lead to 58-56 with 35.3 seconds left on a tough Elijah Robinson And-1. Robinson missed the free throw and Kenny Brayboy collected the carom but his putback rolled off the rim and Ryan Mathieu cleared it. Mathieu, 0-4 from the line up until that point, banked in a pair of free throws to push the lead back out to 60-56.  Kory Mincy paced Tri-Cities with 19 points, 5 assists and 4 steals. Kennesaw State-signee Simeon Cottle chipped in 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, scoring 12 points in the second half. AJ Barnes posted 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Eagles while Jordan Fordyce finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 4 steals. Brayboy tallied 9 points and 8 rebounds. David Thomas was held in check with 5 points on 2-7 shooting, attempting just two shots in the second half as Tri-Cities hounded the star guard by running double teams at him.



Lumpkin County IndiansR7 #1 No. 1 Lumpkin County 51, R5 #2 No. 3 GAC 47
No. 1 Lumpkin County (30-1) trailed the entire game until an Averie Jones floater at the 3:47 mark keyed a 12-0 run that gave the Indians a 46-40 lead that they would narrowly hold onto for their first ever state title. No. 3 GAC (25-7) came out of the gates hot, hitting three first quarter threes and forcing 10 first half turnovers. GAC led 22-19 at the half but Kate Jackson was able to keep the Indians afloat, scoring nine first half points as Coach David Dowse fed her inside consistently. Jackson would finish with 15 points and 13 rebounds after missing her sophomore season due to a torn ACL. After three quarters, GAC held a 40-32 lead as Xavier-signee Kaleigh Addie and Jaci Bolden did damage with their quickness. Addie finished with 16 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 6 steals while Bolden added 13 points. Looking for a spark in the fourth quarter, Jones, Lumpkin County’s leading scorer on the season, got hot piling in 10 of her 17 points in the final frame. Known for their three-point shooting, the Indians never got on track shooting 3-11 but were able to find their offense in other areas. Lexi Pierce scored 12 points and added 5 assists. Lumpkin County had all the momentum at 46-40 but turnovers quickly reared their ugly head again as Kaleigh Addie converted two layups off a pair of steals to knot the game at 47 with 50 seconds left. On a set inbound play, Ciera Brooks threaded the needle to Jackson inside to regain the lead with 36 seconds to play. Bolden tried to drive inside but Jackson stuck her hand in to knock the ball and the referees called a travel on the Spartans. Region 7 Player of the Year Mary Mullinax iced the game with a pair of free throws with under four seconds left, finishing with 5 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 steal and 1 block.

Cross Creek RazorbacksR4 #2 No. 7 Cross Creek 60,
R3 #2 No. 3 Windsor Forest 53
No. 7 Cross Creek (26-6) went back-to-back defeated a senior-laden No. 3 Windsor Forest (23-7) that could never get over the hump in the second half. Hot shooting gave Windsor Forest an 18-16 lead after one quarter, but a three-point second quarter let Cross Creek grow a 30-21 advantage heading into the break as Ahmad Hunt scored 11 of his team-high 14 points off the bench in the opening 16 minutes. The Razorbacks drained 6-13 from beyond the arc and would shoot 7-20 in total. Windsor Forest surged in the third quarter and cut the lead to 32-31 but the Razorbacks answered with a 9-2 run to close, taking a 41-35 lead into the fourth quarter. The Knights would threaten multiple times in the final period. Michael Cabellero sank a pair of free throws to tie it at 45 with 4:06 remining but the Razorbacks would answer with six quick points. Four Razorbacks reached double figures. Jayden Pack had 11 points and 6 rebounds followed by Jaquez Ellison’s 10 points and 5 rebounds. Antoine Lorick, who fouled out with 1:29 to play on a D’ante Bass And-1, finished with 10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 blocks. Terrenice Streetman, another foul out casualty, collected 8 points. Bass, the Georgetown-signee, led Windsor Forest with 22 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals.


Lovejoy WildcatsR4 #1 No. 2 Lovejoy 54, R7 #2 No. 8 Sequoyah 38
No. 2 Lovejoy (28-3) led wire-to-wire to clinch their second state title and first since 2018. The Wildcats shutdown the Chiefs, holding No. 8 Sequoyah (24-8) to 26.9%  shooting.  Lovejoy led 15-7 after one quarter and 23-16 at the half as Sequoyah held the Wildcats to 3-20 shooting in the quarter but the Chiefs could only muster 3-15 shooting themselves. Lovejoy dominated the glass, grabbing 27 offensive rebounds and outrebounding the Chiefs in total 53-35. Lovejoy broke the game open in the third quarter with a 17-9 frame. Mercer-signee Layla Hood totaled 14 points and 16 rebounds.  Region 4 Player of the Year Bryanna Preston notched 13 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals. Bryana Hardy collected 11 points and 11 rebounds while  Sequoyah was paced by Lee-signee Susanna Rodgers’ 10 points and 12 rebounds.  Elle Blatchford had 8 points and 5 rebounds.

Grovetown WarriorsR3 #1 Grovetown 66, R8 #2 No. 5 Buford 59
A 20-7 second quarter gave Grovetown (29-3) all the separation needed to claim the school’s first title.  The Warriors pulled ahead 12-6, but a 6-0 No. 5 Buford (25-7) spurt tied the game at 12 after eight minutes. In the second quarter EJ Kency came off the bench and drained three threes to extend the lead back out to 21-12. The Warriors would shoot 7-16 from deep including sinking six threes in the first half to hold a commanding 32-19 halftime advantage. In the third quarter Buford knotted the game up at 43-43 with 1:04 to play on an Alahn Sumler And-1 jumper, part of a 9-1 run, seven points via Sumler. After winning the quarter 24-15, the Wolves entered the fourth down 47-43. From there, Buford could never take the lead, their last coming at 6-3 in the first quarter. The Warriors ripped off a 7-0 run to put the lead at 54-45 and would never look back. The Wolves had possession down 61-59 with 17 seconds left but would turn the ball over. Grovetown was led by Frankquon Sherman’s 23 points and 13 rebounds. Buford received 17 points and 5 rebounds from Sumler.




Mt. Paran EaglesR7 #1 No. 2 Mt. Paran 54, R5 #2 No. 4 Hebron Christian 49
Senior-laden No. 2 Mt. Paran (25-4) finally climbed the mountain top to capture their first-ever state title, riding Georgia Tech-signee Kara Dunn to 30 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal and 2 blocks to put away the defending state champs. Tied at 7 after one period as both teams were slow to figure each other out on defense, the pace quickened in the second quarter as No. 4 Hebron Christian (26-6) took a slim 24-22 lead into the half.  In the third quarter Dunn broke out with 12 of Mt. Paran’s 17 points, but Hebron held tough behind Wofford-signee Jessie Parish and freshman Aubrey Beckham. Parish finished her career with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists while Beckham tallied 15 points, 9 rebounds and 2 blocks. At the 3:01 mark with the Eagles up 44-42, Dunn picked up her fourth foul but the Lions couldn’t capitalize. Mt. Paran would go on a mini 5-1 run keyed by a Dunn And-1 at the 2-minute mark to make it 49-43. West Georgia-signee Katelyn Dunning would help ice the game from the line going 6-10 from the stripe in the frame to finish with 9 points and 3 steals. Dunn shot 10-15 from the foul line, going 9-13 in the second half.

Greenforest EaglesR2 #1 No. 1 Greenforest 61, R6 #1 No. 3 King’s Ridge 52
No. 3 King’s Ridge (28-5) buried 10 threes, but it wasn’t quite enough for David to slay Goliath as No. 1 Greenforest (28-4) saw Jalen Forrest pile in 26 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals to secure the Eagles’ first state title since 2017. The towering Eagles trailed 13-12 after the first quarter and led 26-24 at the half as King’s Ridge let it fly from deep. Greenforest countered inside scoring 18 points in the paint in the first half and 38 for the game. The Eagles grabbed 14 offensive rebounds in the first half and 19 in total. King’s Ridge shot 10-23 from deep and 52.6% overall from the field, outpacing Greenforest’s 43.1% but the Eagles attempted 58 shots to the Tigers’ 38 and went 11-16 from the line. Florian Tenebay collected 17 points, 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Isaac Martin led King’s Ridge with 18 points, draining six threes. Micah Hoover contributed 16 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. The Tigers tied the game at the 4:53 mark at 50 when Liam Thomas drained a three, but Greenforest would close with an 11-2 run from that point on.


Norcross Lady BlueR7 #1 No. 4 Norcross 41, R3 #1 No. 5 Harrison 37
In a sluggish defensive battle, No. 4 Norcross (26-5) woke up with their man press in the fourth quarter and outscored No. 5 Harrison 22-14 in the final frame to hoist their state title since 2013 and fourth in program history. Trailing 17-12 at the half after shooting just 5-22 from the field and committing nine turnovers, Norcross managed to stay in the game by limiting Harrison’s three-point looks holding the prolific outside shooting team to 4-15 from deep. The Lady Blue found themselves down 23-19 after three quarters before sophomore Jania Akins exploded, sparking an 8-0 run to open the fourth. Akins drained a corner three at the 6:28 mark to give Norcross their first lead since a 9-8 advantage early in the second quarter. Eight seconds later Akins drilled another three from the right corner to push the lead to 27-23. Akins finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds, 11 points in the fourth after shooting just 1-11 through the first three quarters.  Norcross led 37-29 before Harrison made one last surge behind Alisha Foster who finished with 14 points and 7 rebounds. The Hoyas trimmed the lead to 37-35 with 58.6 to play. DePaul-signee Zaria Hurston split a pair of free throws and then got a breakaway layup to extend the lead to 40-35 giving Norcross the space needed to clinch the championship.

Norcross Blue DevilsR7 #2 No. 8 Norcross 58, R7 #1 No. 3 Berkmar 45
It took nine long years and heartbreak along the way, but No. 8 Norcross (26-6) was able to exercise their regular season demons against No. 3 Berkmar (26-5) to earn their sixth state title and first since 2013. After losing three times to the Patriots by a combined nine points, the Blue Devils were able to cooperate together and slowly pull away from Berkmar after leading 24-22 at the half and 40-34 after three. London Johnson scored 18 of his game-high 27 points in the second half to distance the Blue Devils from the Patriots. Johnson would also collect 8 rebounds, 2 assists and 4 steals. Jerry Deng double-doubled with 14 points and 12 rebounds while Samarion Bond supplied 13 points and 5 rebounds. Foul trouble hampered Berkmar in the second half as Jameel Rideout was saddled with his fourth foul at the 3:05 mark of the third quarter with the Patriots trailing 34-31. Berkmar trimmed the lead to 40-37 with 5:32 remaining but a personal 5-0 run from Johnson would extend the lead and eventually Ole Miss-signee Malique Ewin would foul out with 3:13 to play as Norcross led 47-40. Ewin finished his career with 13 points and 8 rebounds. Rideout scored 13 points and Brycen Blaine had 12. Berkmar was held to 31% shooting and made just 4-22 from beyond the arc. Norcross was outshot 58-37, but went 18-27 from the foul line.

Spielin’ & Dealin’ Ep. 115: State Championship Preview


Day 1
A-Private Girls [2:40]
A-Private Boys [7:41]
4A Girls [13:40]
4A Boys [18:30]

Day 2
2A Girls [23:32]
2A Boys [29:40]
5A Girls [37:17]
5A Boys [42:53]

Day 3
3A Girls [47:23]
3A Boys [55:05]
6A Girls [1:00:11]
6A Boys [1:06:28]

Day 4
A-Public Girls [1:15:12]
A-Public Boys [1:20:35]
7A Girls [1:26:01]
7A Boys [1:32:38]

State Championship Recaps

2020-21 GHSA State Championship Recaps

Day 1 — March 10

Class A-Private

R5 #1 No. 1 Hebron Christian 51, R6 #1 No. 4 St. Francis 46 OT

Coach Jan Azar won her 14th state title and Hebron Christian’s first as the Lions (29-2) held off No. 4 St. Francis (23-5) in overtime. No. 1 Hebron Christian trailed 6-5 after one quarter in a defensive slugfest that saw the Lions go 0-8 from the field and 0-7 from three. Trynce Taylor scored all six of her points in the opening frame to give the Knights an advantage. In the second quarter, Nicole Azar hit a pair of threes as the Lions shot 7-12 from the floor. St. Francis closed the quarter strong with a 6-0 run to narrow the gap to 22-18 heading into the half in favor of Hebron. In the third quarter, Mississippi State-signee Mia Moore and sophomore Erica Moon scored five points apiece to keep the Knights within striking distance as they entered the fourth down 34-32. St. Francis captured their first lead since the 7:18 mark of the second quarter when Moon hit a jumper to make it 37-36, but the lead was short-lived as Rice-signee Malia Fisher scored on a drive, two of her game-high 18 points to go along with 11 rebounds and 2 blocks.  Fisher scored 10 points in the fourth quarter but the tandem of Moon and Moore wouldn’t let the Knights fall too far behind. Down 42-39, Moon converted an And-1 to knot the game with 58.5 seconds remaining. Fisher gave Hebron the lead with 9.4 seconds to play on a layup, but Moore drew a foul with 0.4 seconds and went to the line where she coolly sank both free throws to send the game to overtime. The Lions took the lead for good at the 2:12 mark when Samford-signee Carly Heidger inbounded to Fisher underneath St. Francis’ basket. Fisher, in a crowd, tipped the lob pass back to Heidger who scored a layup to go ahead 48-46. The Knights nearly gathered a steal with 40 seconds left at half court when a cross court pass to Azar was nearly stolen when she stepped on the ball and lost her balance but was able to recover on the floor and dish to a teammate. Heidger was sent to the line for the frontend of a one-and-one with 31.1 seconds left and split a pair to make it 49-46. Moore got a clean look with less than 10 seconds to play to tie it, but her shot was off the mark and Fisher cleared the board and Heidger outletted to Azar for a layup at the buzzer to put the exclamation point. Azar, a Samford-signee, finished with 11 points while Heidger and Jessie Parish scored 9 apiece. Moore led St. Francis with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Moon finished with 14 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 steals.

R6 #1 No. 1 Mt. Pisgah 43, R5 #1 No. 5 Holy Innocents’ 41

No. 1 Mt. Pisgah (27-6) stunned No. 5 Holy Innocents’ (16-4) as Kasheem Grady came away with a steal and a game-winning jumper at the buzzer as the Patriots closed on a 10-0 run to rally past Holy Innocents’ in improbable fashion. With 3:19 remaining in the game, the Patriots trailed 39-33 and were 0-5 from the field and shooting 28.6% for the game. From that point on, Mt. Pisgah stormed past the Golden Bears hitting four of their final seven shots to erase what looked like was going to be an ugly loss. Nate Gordon scored six of his team-high 14 points in the fourth quarter to go with his 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. He scored on a baby hook in the lane with 27 seconds left to draw the Patriots even after IPFW-signee JoJo Peterson got a steal and a layup with 49.1 seconds left to make it a 41-39 deficit. The Patriots hadn’t led since 4:40 of the third quarter when they were up 29-28. Mt. Pisgah shot just 32.1% from the field and 3-18 from three for the game while foul issues piled up but their full court pressure defense and resiliency finally cracked Holy Innocents’ who took their largest lead of the game at 41-33 with just 1:47 to play.  The Patriots received 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists from Peterson and 8 points including the game-winner from Grady. Landon Kardian powered Holy Innocents’ with 14 points and 2 blocks. Walker Wolf scored 9 points and Garrison Powell finished his career with 7 points, 13 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals.

Class 4A

R2 #1 No. 4 Carver-Columbus 70, R1 #1 Cairo  54

Runs of 16-0 and 9-0 helped No. 4 Carver-Columbus (16-2) collect their second title in three years. After a spirited first quarter saw Cairo (18-2) lead 23-20, Carver’s full court pressure and non-stop attack wore on the Syrupmaids. Clemson-signee Kionna Gaines paced the Tigers with 24 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist and 4 steals. Carver held Cairo scoreless for 4:44 as they raced ahead 39-27 to gain control. Up 41-32 at the half, a 9-0 run for the Tigers that made it 50-32 proved to be the deathblow. Cairo answered later in the third with an 11-0 run to trim the deficit to 50-43 at the 2:27 mark but Gaines and company proved too strong around the rim scoring 40 points in the paint and going 25-34 from the line. D’Miya Beacham scored 16 points while Enyshaun Jones added 10 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals and 4 blocks. The Tigers forced 31 turnovers. Cairo was led by Ambria Vicks’ 19 points and 14 rebounds while Chambria Vicks contributed 9 points and 6 rebounds.

R4 #1 No. 1 Baldwin 54, R5 #1 No. 5 Fayette County 53

Will Freeman’s mid-range jumper with 3.8 seconds left propelled No. 1 Baldwin (17-0) to a perfect season and more importantly their first state title since 1981. Up 28-25 at the half, the Braves used a swarming defense to frustrate the Tigers. Fayette County was without star wing Kaleb Banks, who got hit above the eye and played just three minutes until returning in the second half. With Banks never able to get into a flow, the persistent and pesky Braves continued to attack, forcing 19 turnovers and outshooting the Tigers 58 to 41. A balanced effort led the Braves throughout as they held a 43-40 lead heading into the fourth, playing in front of a home crowd that made the 35-minute trip to Macon. Terry Brown finished with 14 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals to lead Fayette County. The Tigers surged ahead with a 7-0 start to the fourth quarter, grabbing a 47-43 lead after threes from Tariq Mumphery and Cardell Bailey with 6:36 to play. Baldwin didn’t get flustered however and battled back. Banks, who finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds, split a pair of free throws to give Fayette County a 53-52 lead. The Tigers had a chance to extend the lead out of a timeout but Banks couldn’t convert a shot from point blank. The Braves attacked the basket on the ensuing possession but Brown stepped in and drew a charge, what looked like could be poetic justice after the Tigers saw a block/charge call go against them late vs. Buford in the state championship two years ago, but free throws came back to haunt the Tigers. Fayette County would go 13-21 from the line and 5-10 in the quarter. RJ Kennedy had a chance to ice the game at the line with 21.3 seconds remaining but couldn’t convert. Coach Anthony Webb turned to Freeman out of a timeout and the senior delivered with 3.8 seconds left as his shot hit the front of the rim and bounced in. Fayette County tried to push the ball to Banks at halfcourt, but his shot was after the horn and off the mark as Baldwin stormed the floor. The undersized Braves lost the rebounding battle 35-31 but scored 16 second chance points and outscored the Tigers 26-22 in the paint. Freeman and Rudolph Satcher scored 12 apiece to power the Braves wile Lataeveon Roach netted 11 and Jermyus Simmons scored 8 points. Mumphery scored 11 for the Tigers in the loss, hitting three three-pointers.


Day 2 — March 11

Class 2A

R4 #2 No. 10 Josey 47, R7 #1 No. 8 Fannin County 42

Trailing 35-21 at the 3:32 mark of the third quarter, No. 10 Josey (20-6) could have easily folded against No. 8 Fannin County (23-5), but instead the Eagles dug deep and used their athleticism and defensive pressure to heat up the Rebels, stunning the crowd favorites with a 17-4 fourth quarter for their first state title since 1998. Down 38-30 heading into the fourth quarter, Coach Jawan Bailey turned to a suffocating 2-2-1 press and held Fannin County scoreless for over eight minutes as Josey inched closer and closer in the fourth quarter but saw dreadful free throw shooting nearly put a damper on their comeback. With just five points heading into the final stanza, High Major recruit Ky’Shonna Brown finally found a groove on her 17th birthday scoring six of her 11 points in the final quarter. As Fannin County’s offense sputtered, going 1-10 in the fourth quarter and turning the ball over 9 times in the second half, Josey started to claw back led by Brown, Aqoyas Cody and Jamirah Mitchell. Cody tied the game at 38-38 with 2:19 left but missed free throws continued to help Fannin County as the Eagles went 2-9 from the line to start the fourth. Ending the lengthy drought, freshman Courtney Davis scored a layup to give Fannin County a 40-38 lead at the 1:52 mark. The Rebels extended the lead to four points after a pair of Becca Ledford free throws with 1:22 left, but Mitchell hit a corner three to draw Josey to within 42-41 with 68 seconds remaining. Cody, who led Josey with 15 points and 10 rebounds, came away with a steal and assisted to Deajah Houck for a layup to go ahead 43-42 with 51 ticks to play. From there, Josey would hit their final four free throws as Brown and Laura Jarrett hit a pair to complete the wild comeback. Josey finished with 22 points off 17 Rebel turnovers. Fannin County led for 28:07 behind the play of Ledford who finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Davis and Abby Ledford added 9 apiece. In a game which featured nine lead changes, Josey led for just 3:03.

R6 #1 No. 1 Pace Academy 73,  R6 #3 No. 4 Columbia 42

An 18-1 run to start the second half proved to be the knockout blow as No. 1 Pace Academy (28-1) repeated as state champions, defeating No. 4 Columbia (21-7) for the second time this season. Pace Academy raced out to a 16-9 lead after the first quarter as their length inside affected any looks near the basket, blocking 5 shots and 8 for the game. Down 27-13 at the 3:17 mark of the second quarter, Columbia got momentum as fouls piled up on Pace Academy. The Eagles would finish the half on an 8-2 run to head into the half down 29-21 but as they have all postseason, Pace Academy stepped on the gas to open the third and put away Columbia quickly. The Knights led 49-24 following a dominant stretch that harassed Columbia relentlessly with a suffocating full court press. The Knights forced 19 turnovers and held Columbia to 34% shooting while converting 60.5% of their own shots.  The Eagles went 0-12 from three. Florida State-signee Matthew Cleveland finished his career with 24 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals and 5 blocks. Madison Durr tallied 15 points, 4 rebounds and 5 assists while Josh Reed added14 points and Cleveland State-signee Cole Middleton scored 9 points. Mason Lockhart led Columbia with 9 points and 5 rebounds.

Class 5A

R3 #1 No. 1 Woodward Academy 62, R3 #2 No. 2 Forest Park 59

After claiming a state championship in 1999 as a player, Coach Kim Lawrence brought back Woodward Academy’s first title in 22 years as No. 1 Woodward Academy (22-1) used a key 16-4 run with All-American Sania Feagin on the bench with four fouls in the third quarter to gain control and hold off No. 2 Forest Park (23-6) for the third time this season. Trailing 23-21 at the half, Woodward Academy struggled to eliminate second chance points as the defending Class 6A champs attacked the glass and scored nine points off offensive rebounds in the first half but just four in the second.  Forest Park led by as many as nine points at 19-10, but a near five-minute drought helped the War Eagles get back in it.  At the 5:29 mark of the third quarter, Feagin picked up her fourth foul on a charge with the Panthers leading 25-23.  The War Eagles would outscore the Panthers 20-12 to close the quarter with Feagin out, a 16-4 run igniting Woodward Academy as Sara Lewis found a groove after an 0-8 first half. Lewis would finish with 13 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. The trio of Lewis, Sydney Bowles (22) and Kai Lanier (14) would combine for 49 points. Woodward Academy held a 43-37 lead after three quarters and led 52-45 at the 4:27 mark when Feagin, the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year and South Carolina-signee, fouled out with 10 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 steals and 4 blocks to end her illustrious career. But even with Feagin out, the Panthers battled till the final buzzer. Lanier, 5-foot-4, collected 10 rebounds including a putback with 1:19 left  that extended the Woodward lead to 60-52 and seemingly put the game out of reach, but Forest Park would storm back. Albany State-commit Ghylissa Knowles drilled a three with 15 seconds left to cut the lead to 60-59 after UT-Arlington-signee Olympia Chaney hit a pair of free throws and Jayda Brown scored a layup. Bowles, who scored 12 of her game-high 22 points in the second half, calmly sank two free throws to push the lead to 62-59 with 10.9 seconds remaining. Bowles missed a pair of free throws with 2.4 seconds left with the score the same, but Forest Park’s Hail Mary heave was short and after the buzzer. Presbyterian-signee Jasmine Stevens paced Forest Park with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists. Knowles scored 13 points, 9 in the second half.

R4 #1 No. 2 Eagle’s Landing 81, R3 #1 No. 1 Tri-Cities 69 

Since 2013 when they last won the state title, No. 2 Eagle’s Landing (29-1) hadn’t been able to advance past the Sweet 16. After exorcising their demons with an 84-43 win over Forest Park weeks ago, the Eagles made things look easy in the postseason. An electric 27-11 first quarter set the tone as the Eagles won a fast pace battle with No. 1 Tri-Cities (23-5). The Eagles used an 11-0 run to race ahead 19-7 and never looked back, building as large as a 33-14 lead at the 6:05 mark of the second quarter. Region 4 Player of the Year AJ Barnes scored 12 of his team-high 21 points in the first quarter and added 11 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals while going 11-14 from the line. Tri-Cities entered the half down 49-37 as Vanderbilt-signee Peyton Daniels and Simeon Cottle scored 11 apiece. The Bulldogs cut the lead to 51-45 at the 6:12 mark of the third quarter after hitting six of their last eight three-point attempts, but Eagle’s Landing would not be deterred. The Eagles led nearly wire-to-wire, ahead for 29:59 out of the full 32 minutes, Tri-Cities’ last lead coming at the 6:35 mark of the first quarter when they were up 2-1. Though they led almost the entire game, there were moments where Eagle’s Landing was tested. David Thomas, who finished with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists, picked up his fourth foul with 3:56 to play in the third quarter with the Eagles holding a 58-51 advantage. With Thomas on the bench, others stepped up. Jordan Fordyce scored all 15 of his points in the second half while Jaylon Hand netted 15 as well. After three quarters the Eagles clung onto a 64-58 lead. Fordyce scored eight points in the final frame and helped the Eagles stay ahead until Thomas checked back in with 4:01 remaining and Eagle’s Landing in front 68-63. The Bulldogs hung around and cut the deficit to 71-67 with 2:16 left but wouldn’t get any closer as the Eagles closed on a 10-2 run. Eagle’s Landing went 18-25 from the foul line on the night while Tri-Cities converted 9-13. Daniels finished his Tri-Cities career with 25 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 4 steals and 1 block.

Day 3 — March 12

Class 3A

R4 #1 No. 4 Cross Creek 56, R5 #1 No. 6 GAC 44 

The efficient play of North Carolina A&T-signee Jordyn Dorsey and stingy defense that held No. 6 GAC (15-8) to 0-8 shooting to start the fourth quarter lifted No. 4 Cross Creek (23-2) to their first ever title. Playing just five players nearly the entire game, stamina and foul issues were never a problem for the Razorbacks. Cross Creek led 10-8 after the first quarter and took the lead for good when the Razorbacks closed the half on a 6-0 run to lead 25-21 heading into the break. Dorsey scored 15 of her game-high 30 points in the opening 16 minutes and added 6 rebounds. Dorsey scored six more points in the third as Cross Creek extended their lead to 42-34 heading into the fourth.  The Spartans went cold in the fourth quarter and went nearly six minutes without scoring as the Razorbacks pulled ahead. Cross Creek held GAC to 29.6% from the field  while Kaleigh Addie (18) and Jaci Bolden (14) combined for 32 points on 11-35 shooting.  Cross Creek outscored GAC on second chance points 14 to 3 and outrebounded the Spartans 44-24. The Razorbacks closed out the game going 9-11 from the line in the fourth quarter and 20-25 for the game. Erin Martin had 8 points and 8 rebounds before fouling out. Jasiiyah Holmes finished with 7 points and 12 rebounds while freshman Micheala Bogans tallied 7 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals.

R4 #1 No. 5 Cross Creek 57, R5 #1 No. 1 Sandy Creek 49

No. 5 Cross Creek (25-4) shocked the country as the Razorbacks swept Class 3A, stunning No. 1 Sandy Creek (28-5) with a 13-0 run before a late Micah Smith bucket to charge past the heavily favored Patriots. After losing on the big stage a season ago to Woodward Academy, the bright lights of the Macon Centreplex didn’t seem to affect the underdog Razorbacks one bit. Cross Creek jumped out to an 8-0 lead and carried a 15-10 advantage into the second quarter as Sandy’s Creek 2-2-1 press was unable to rattle the Razorbacks. A four-point play from Richard Vistacion pushed the lead to 22-12 at the 5:25 mark of the second quarter, but Sandy Creek answered with a 12-2 jolt to knot the game up at 24. Cross Creek entered the half up 28-26 as Visitacion scored all 11 of his points to pace the Backs and would finish with 7 assists as well. Auburn-signee and All-American Jabari Smith, who finished with 19 points, 17 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal and 4 blocks,  carried Sandy Creek with 14 points in the first half but the star was unable to get consistent help elsewhere. Sophomore Antoine Lorick harassed Smith into 7-25 shooting, settling for outside shots and hitting 3-11 from deep. The length, speed and shooting of Cross Creek caught Sandy Creek off guard. The Razorbacks would hit five first half threes and shoot 8-19 for the game. Sophomore Vic Newsom stepped up for the Patriots the best he could, scoring 10 points and dishing out 4 assists but Sandy Creek entered the fourth quarter down 44-38. With 6:07 left, Houston Baptist-signee Deshon Proctor scored a putback to push Sandy Creek ahead 45-44, their first lead of the second half and first lead since 26-25 with 50 seconds to play in the first half. Sandy Creek scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter and took their biggest lead of the game at 47-44 with 5:23 remaining, but from there Cross Creek would close with 13 unanswered points. Miles College-signee Corey Trotter ignited the championship surge with a three, followed by a Lorick free throw and later a layup to make 50-47 with 3:31 left. Jaquez Ellison hit a short baseline jumper to extend the lead to 52-47 with 1:15 remaining to break Sandy Creek’s spirit. Cross Creek had just two turnovers in the second half and only nine for the game compared to Sandy Creek’s 12. Washington State-signee Myles Rice was shut down by Josh Dorsey whose sister won a state championship herself earlier in the day. Rice finished 4-14 from the field with 8 points and 4 turnovers, struggling to finish inside against Cross Creek’s length. Proctor contributed 6 points, 6 rebounds and 3 blocks in the loss. Devin Pope led Cross Creek with 14 points while Lorick added 12 points and 9 rebounds. Trotter double-doubled with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocks. Dorsey netted 8. Cross Creek led for 26:34 out of the game’s 32 minutes.

Class 6A

R4 #1 No. 1 Westlake 64,  R5 #1 No. 2 Carrollton 46

The four-peat is complete. The senior class of No. 1 Westlake (20-0) finished their careers 98-0 vs. in-state opponents as the Lions roared past No. 2 Carrollton (30-2) after leading scorer at the time Kehinde Obasuyi dislocated her shoulder at the 1:13 mark of the third quarter with the Trojans down just 40-36. It would take over seven minutes for Carrollton to score again as a 10-0 run would put to rest the upset-minded Trojans. Westlake dominated the paint, outscoring Carrollton 34 to 12 and scoring 16 second chance points. The Trojans connected on 7-14 from deep led by three apiece from Kehinde and Eghosa Obasuyi. Vanderbilt-signee De’Mauri Flournoy finished with 15 points, 4 rebounds and 6 assists. Westlake was led by Taniya Latson’s 24 points and Camerah Langston’s 12 points and 7 rebounds. Virginia Tech-commit Brianna Turnage collected 11 points and 9 rebounds. All-American and South Carolina-signee Raven Johnson finished her historic career with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.

R6 #2 No. 1 Wheeler 71, R6 #1 No. 2 Kell  61

In the much anticipated Round 4 bout between heavyweights No. 1 Wheeler (27-5) and No. 2 Kell (21-7), the Wildcats won for the third time, avenging a 78-71 double overtime Region 6 Championship loss and in the process, repeating as state champs. A high scoring first quarter saw Wheeler lead 22-17 as both teams hit three three-pointers, but the second quarter saw just 15 total points scored with the Wildcats ahead 31-23 while holding star guard Scoot Henderson in check with six points. Henderson poured in 13 points in the third quarter and finished with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists, but Kell’s outside shooting mixed with Wheeler’s dominant paint scoring hindered the Horns from ever grabbing a second half lead. Following a 3-4 start from behind the arc, Kell missed 12 of their next 13 attempts and finished 5-21 for the game after Jaylen Harris, who scored 11 points, netted a long-ball with 2:30 left to cut the Wheeler lead to 60-53. Trailing 60-48 with 2:55 left, their largest deficit of the game, the Longhorns snapped off a 7-0 run to close to 60-55 at the 1:51 mark but a Max Harris corner three off an inbound proved to be the dagger. The larger Wildcats pounded the paint, outscoring Kell 34 to 24 inside. Isaiah Collier finished with 16 points while Dayton-signee Kaleb Washington added 12 and FGCU-signee Ja’Heim Hudson had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Harris finished with 12 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.

Day 4 — March 13

Class A-Public

R1 #1 No. 5 Calhoun County 49, R2 #1 No. 2 Clinch County 45 

The length of 6-foot-2 USC-Upstate-signee Takia Davis was too much inside for No. 2 Clinch County (22-2) as the Pantherettes were held to a woeful 18-84 (21%) shooting from the field, taking a whopping 47 more shots than the Cougars but No. 5 Calhoun County (14-1) captured their first ever state title after dealing with COVID postponements and cancelations nearly all season long. Davis hung 9 points, 20 rebounds and 12 blocks. The Cougars led 10-9 at the end of one, but struggled to contain the speedy Zyhia Johnson, who led the Pantherettes with a game-high 27 points, 6 rebounds and 5 steals. Clinch County coughed it up 21 times while Calhoun County also struggled mightily with 30 turnovers on the day. The Pantherettes did themselves no favors, going 5-16 from the line for the game compared to Calhoun County’s 18-35, but still found themselves in striking distance at the half down 20-19. The offense ran dry in the third quarter as Clinch County shot 3-23, Davis swatting away six shots. Destiny Hightower finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 3 assists while Carmen Cannon netted 10 points and Maya Wims scored 7. Angel McRae struggled to produce against Davis inside, finishing with 7 points and 13 rebounds going 3-25 from the floor.

R8 #1 No. 4 Towns County 64, R7 #1 No. 5 Hancock Central 60

In an age where outside shooting is championed, No. 4 Towns County (25-3) turned back the clock and pounded the ball inside while defending state champion No. 5 Hancock Central (15-2) heaved from the three-point line against the Indian 2-3 zone as Towns County captured their first-ever state title. The Indians rode 6-foot-7 junior forward Jake McTaggart to 22 points and 12 rebounds, pacing Towns County who outscored the Bulldogs 44-18 in the paint. Hancock Central shot 33% compared to Towns’ 49%, large in part of the Bulldogs going 2-20 from three in the first half and 9-40 for the game. Hancock Central led 16-14 after one quarter of play but it would be their last lead of the game as an 8-2 run sparked the Indians as McTaggart and Kolby Moss took turns getting points up close.  6-foot center Marquavious Lawrence kept Hancock Central afloat with his sharp-shooting from the mid-range in the middle of the zone. Lawrence scored 10 of his 18 points in the first half and grabbed 7 rebounds in total as the Bulldogs trailed 31-24 at the break as Towns County used a 7-0 run to pull ahead for good. Nearly six minutes into the third, Leroy Wilson broke off a personal 7-0 run ignited by a three which broke a stretch of missing 15 of their last 16 attempts. Wilson, who led Hancock with 18 points and 10 rebounds, closed the gap to 39-37 but the Indians still maintained control heading into the decisive final quarter with Moss pulling up to score at the buzzer with Towns County leading 45-40. The defending champs threatened multiple times in the fourth quarter but Towns County always had an answer. Taylor, who finished with 16 points, 8 rebounds and 7 assists — 13 points in the second half — scored seven straight for the Bulldogs to make it 54-50 at the 4:29 mark but Collin Crowder and McTaggart would score inside and push the lead back to eight points at 60-52 with 2:28 left. Moss fouled out with 14 points and 14 rebounds with 1:56 remaining but 54 seconds later so did Wilson with Hancock down 62-57. Towns County went 0-7 from three for the game and 3-6 from the line in the fourth quarter but it was enough to hold off Hancock. Crowder contributed 12 points and 9 rebounds in the win while Aidan Berrong and Kyle Oakes scored 8 apiece to help replace the loss of Kabe Ellis who separated his shoulder in the Region 8 Championship.

Class 7A

R3 #1 No. 4 Marietta 52, R5 #2 Woodstock 47

Behind Michigan State-signee Lauren Walker and Chloe Sterling, No. 4 Marietta (21-5) won their first state title since 1951, withstanding a Bridget Utberg barrage to knockoff a red-hot Woodstock (22-9) team.  The Wolverines led 11-4 after the first quarter, holding Marietta to 2-17 shooting but the Blue Devils quickly turned the tables as Walker scored 11 of her team-high 19 points in the first half and finished with 12 rebounds and 2 blocks as the Blue Devils took a 22-15 lead into the half. In the third quarter, Marietta got an unexpected offensive lift from freshman Kayla Day, netting 5 of her 9 points in the quarter. Two Walker free throws pushed the Marietta lead to 35-27 at the 2:51 mark of the third but Woodstock responded behind an Utberg layup and a Karson Martin transition bucket to make it 37-33. Utberg dumped in 12 of her game-high 26 points in the third and collected 4 rebounds and 5 steals. Up 39-34 heading into the fourth, a 7-0 run to open the final stanza built a 46-34 advantage with 4:22 to play. Utberg wouldn’t let Woodstock go quietly into the night however. The Wolverines trimmed the lead to 48-41 with 2:05 left on an Utberg three, part of a 7-0 spurt that closed the lead to 48-45 with 32.4 seconds left after a pair of Martin free throws. Woodstock had their opportunities late when Loren Nelson banked a free throw and missed the second, but Sterling flew in for an offensive rebound and also split a pair to make it 50-45 with 22.8 seconds remaining. Walker helped ice the game from the line hitting a pair of free throws with 11.1 seconds left to make it 52-47, rising to the occasion after the Blue Devils struggled from the charity stripe going 13-26 for the game. Sterling, the hero of much of Marietta’s postseason run, finished with 10 points, 15 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals while facing early double teams. Makayah Harris and Loren Nelson scored 7 apiece. Woodstock received 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 steals from Martin and 7 points and 13 rebounds from Casey Miller.

R5 #1 No. 1 Milton 52, R7 #1 No. 5 Berkmar 47

Possibly the hardest thing to do in the entire nation is to win a GHSA Class 7A state championship as the favorite, but that didn’t stop No. 1 Milton (28-2) from winning a rock fight with No. 5 Berkmar (25-6) in a game that wasn’t decided until the final buzzer. The first half was as even as it could get. The Patriots and Eagles were deadlocked at 16 after one and went into the half with Berkmar leading 29-27, Destin Logan scoring 8 of his 11 points in the first half to lead the way. The first 16 minutes featured 10 lead changes with Berkmar in front for 5:30 while Milton held an advantage for 5:26. With the game hanging in the balance heading into the third quarter, Ohio State-commit Bruce Thornton started to assert himself. Following a  three-point first half, Thornton scored nine of his 12 points in the third and finished with 5 rebounds and 4 assists. Milton needed every point they could get. Even with Thornton starting to warm up, Berkmar started to pull away grabbing their largest lead of the game at the 1:37 mark up 41-34 after Jameel Rideout, who finished with 9 points and 4 rebounds, sank two  free throws. A mini 4-0 spurt trimmed the Patriot lead to 41-38 heading into the fourth quarter. From there, the Berkmar offense sputtered as Milton clamped down. A lengthy 9-0 run pushed the Eagles ahead for good as sophomores Kanaan Carlyle (8) and LT Overton (6) combined for all 14 points in the period. It took Berkmar nearly six minutes to stop the bleeding, when Jermahri Hill converted a layup with just 40.9 seconds remaining and the Patriots now down 46-45. Carlyle finished with a game-high 15 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists. With Berkmar fouling, Carlyle went 8-10 from the line down the stretch to seal Milton’s first title since 2012. After Carlyle sank his first four attempts, Malique Ewin scored on a putback with cut the lead to 48-47 with 18.8 seconds to play. After two more Carlyle makes from the line, Campbell-signee Broc Bidwell made his biggest play of the night stripping Logan as he loaded up for a shot. Carlyle was sent back to the line where he split a pair of foul shots to extend Milton’s advantage to 51-47 with 7.2 seconds left. A late travel on Rideout sent the ball back to Milton where Carlyle would go 1-2 to close the game, igniting the celebration. As a team the Eagles went 16-23 from the foul line.