AAASP Wheelchair Championship: Houston County 40, Gwinnett 23

The Houston County Sharks clinched their fourth straight perfect season and AAASP Wheelchair State Championship with a 40-23 victory over the Gwinnett Heat Friday afternoon at the Macon Centreplex. Houston County’s Donovan Way netted the Sharks’ first six points and teammate Braxton Robinson hit a layup to give the Sharks an 8-1 lead after the first of the game’s six eight-minute periods. A free throw by Kendrell King was the only Gwinnett point until Houston County had already grown the lead to 16-1 and the Sharks’ lead opened up to 20-3 by the end of the second period.

The pace slowed down considerably in the third period as Gwinnett found ways to disrupt the passing lanes that fueled Houston County’s explosive offensive start. Way made a lay-up to push the lead to 22-3 and Gwinnett added its only point of the period with 7:02 still left on a King free throw. The next seven minutes were a scoreless full-court driven defensive effort until Houston County’s Bryce Lowery hit a gliding buzzer beater that made it a 24-4 game at the intermission.

Gwinnett made it interesting in the fourth period by cutting the deficit to 24-12, but the Sharks used an 8-5 edge in the fifth period to pillar what became an insurmountable 32-17 lead with just eight minutes to play. Way led Houston County with a game-high 20 points, including the final basket of the game. Gwinnett’s Robbie Berry and Stephen Hobson each finished with eight points, while anchoring the Heats’ defense. King finished with seven points.

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