State Basketball Championship Recaps

Hyosub Shin /

The GHSA State Basketball Championships began Wednesday with the A-Private and A-Public boys and girls state championship games and will conclude with the AAAAAAA boys state championship game on Saturday evening.

This file will be updated with a recap as each championship game goes final.


Class AAAAAAA Boys – Wheeler 60, Grayson 59


That would collectively describe the nation’s reaction after Wheeler upset nationally-ranked Grayson in the AAAAAAA boys state championship to close out the GHSA’s weekend in Macon. Wheeler, which entered the game ranked sixth in the class, five spots behind a Grayson program ranked No. 2 in the nation, led 14-11 after the first quarter and 31-25 at the half. Wheeler expanded its lead to as many as 11 points with 2:34 left in the third quarter but Grayson rallied and retook the lead and pushed it to as much as eight points with 5:35 left in the game. With the game tied at 59, Wheeler senior Samuel Hines Jr. grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled with 1.1 seconds left. He made his first free throw and then tried to deliberately miss the second attempt and force an uncatchable rebound, however the ball never hit the rim, giving Grayson a chance at a miracle full-court heave, which did not come to fruition. Wheeler was led by Hines Jr. who scored 28 points on 11-of-12 shooting from the floor and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Maxwell Harris scored 10 points for Wheeler. Grayson was led by Toneari Lane who scored 18 points, Caleb Murphy, who scored 13 points and Deivon Smith, who scored 11 points.

Class AAAAAAA Girls – Westlake 72, Collins Hill 53

Westlake has won the girls basketball championship in the state’s highest classification for three-straight seasons after its convincing 72-53 victory over Collins Hill. The Lions controlled all aspects of the game and consistently build its lead over four quarters. Westlake led 11-9 after the first quarter, 28-18 at the half and 52-38 entering the fourth quarter. Westlake’s TaNiya Latson, a sophomore guard, and Raven Johnson, a junior guard, each sored 23 points in the romp. Latson was 8-for-14 from the floor and Johnson was 8-for-12 from the floor. Three Collins Hill players – Sacha Washington, Asjah Inniss and Eden Sample – scored in double-figures in the victory. Washington led with 16 points, Sample scored 14 points and Inniss had 13 points.

Class AAAAAA Boys – Chattahoochee 69, Lanier 66 OT

As a team, Chattahoochee was 21-for-27 from the free-throw like while making 9-of-12 in overtime and that proved the difference against Lanier as the Cougars won the program’s first state championship. Chattahoochee led 15-12 after the first quarter and held its three-point lead 34-31 at half. Lanier took control with a 16-6 run in the third quarter, but Chattahoochee responded by controlling the fourth quarter 16-9 to force overtime. Junior captain A.J. White was 11-for-12 from the free-throw line to lead the team and he finished with 22 points. Cameron Sheffield led all scorers with 31 points on 12-of-19 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Franklin Bailey scored 10 points and David McDaniel, who finished with six points, grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds. Lanier was led by Sion James’ 27 points, Andrew McConnell’sz 13 points and Iajah Phillips’ 12 points.

Class AAAAAA Girls – Forest Park 46, Glynn Academy 30

Forest Park’s Sania Feagin and Joi Reid combined for 21 points to lead the Panthers to its first state championship since the program won a Class AAA title in 1970. The victory — in which Forest Park led 13-2 after the first quarter and 21-13 at the half and 34-22 entering the fourth quarter – was delivered to eight-year coach Steven Cole. Saturday was his birthday. In the end, Feagin – a top-recruit for the class of 2021 and recently named the Gatorade girls player of the year – scored 10 points on 3-of-6 shooting from the field and 4-of-9 shooting from the free-throw line. Ried scored 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the floor and 3-of-5 from the free-throw line. Glynn Academy’s Zoesha Smith scored 15 points to lead the Red Terrors.


AAAAA Boys – Dutchtown 57, Cedar Shoals 44

Dutchtown captured its first state championship after building a lead with a 6-0 run in the second quarter and expanding its lead throughout the second half. Cedar Shoals was also trying for its first state title and this was a closest it came since losing to Buford in the 2017 championship game. Dutchtown led 16-14 after the first quarter and gained an advantage with defense through a 13-7 second quarter.  Dutchtown was led by senior Jamaine Mann’s 20 points on 7-of-10 from the field and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line with a team-leading 12 rebounds. Senior Cameron Bryant scored 18 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the floor and 2-of-4 from 3-point range. Cedar Shoals was led by Quincy Canty who scored 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the floor.

AAAAA Girls – Buford 66, Kell 63

Buford’s latest state championship – following its 66-63 victory over Kell – marked the most difficult victory the Wolves have faced since its 44-43 victory over Carrollton in the 7-AAAAA region championship. The win in this game – to capture its fourth title in a row and eighth overall – was by far its most difficult championship victory for Buford. Last year, the Wolves beat Villa Rica 67-59, in 2017-18 it beat Flowery Branch 60-49 and in 2016-17, it defeated Southwest DeKalb 60-42. The Wolves, after entering the half tied at 29 and the fourth quarter up 50-48, put away the game with clutch free-throw shooting by going 7-for-9 from the line in the final minutes. Buford guard Tate Walters led with 18 points on 6-of-16 shooting and 6-of-8 from the free-throw line. Ashyllia Willis scored 13 points and was 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. Blair Wallis scored 12 pints and was 4-of-9 from the free-throw line. Kell was led by Crystal Henderson who scored 26 points. Amaya Moss scored 14 points and Makyah Favors scored 10 points for the Longhorns.

AAAA Boys Woodward 75, Cross Creek 56

As Walker Kessler walked off the floor with a minute left in the game and Woodward’s first championship all but secured, he was greeted by cheers from the War Eagle hopefuls. After losing out in the semifinals last season, and with the University of North Carolina on the horizon, Kessler, one of the nation’s top recruits, finished his high school career fronting five War Eagle players in double-figures against Cross Creek. The 7-footer center scored 17 points with eight rebounds and five blocks to lead the group. Will Richards scored 15 points with two assists. Michael Whitmore scored 13 points with four assists and five steals. Jacorrei Turner score 12 points with three assists and Emory Lanier scored 11 points with three assists and two steals. Kobe Stewart scored 18 points to lead Cross Creek, which was looking for its first state title. Josh Dorsey scored 10 points for the Razorbacks.

AAAA Girls – Americus-Sumter 66, Troup 52

Americus-Sumter outscored Troup 17-9 in the first quarter and 20-14 in the fourth to take advantage as the Panthers capture its second title and first since 2016. Before becoming Americus-Sumter, Americus won a Class A title in 1966. Senior guard Trinity Jones and senior shooting guard Jelissa Reese combined for 40 points in the romp. Jones scored 21 points on 6-of-16 shooting from the floor and 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Reese scored 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the floor and 5-of-8 from the free-throw line. De’Asia Ford and Brianna Pope each scored seven points and Trinity Jackson and Tiffani Goodman each scored six points for Americus. Troup was led by Amber Gilbert’s 15 points on 5-of-16 shooting and Aniya Palmer’s 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting.


AAA Boys – Pace Academy 48, Jefferson 35

At one point – with Pace Academy trailing Jefferson, a team trying for its first state championship, 13-3 following the first quarter – it looked as it Pace’s third state title in five years was out of reach. Pace trailed 20-13 at the half before outclassing Jefferson in each aspect of the game while outscoring the Dragons 35-15 in the second half to put the game away. The Knights pieced together an 11-0 run in the second half which helped give Pace its first lead of the game. George Adams, a senior averaging 3.7 points per game, scored nine points in that run. Pace junior Cole Middleton led with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor and 3-for-4 from 3-point range. Junior four-star recruit Matthew Cleveland scored 10 points with two assists, a block and a steal. Senior George Adams scored nine points and Madison Durr scored nine points with eight rebounds. Josh Reed grabbed eight rebounds for Pace. Jefferson’s Owen Parker led the Dragons with 11 points and two steals. Malaki Starks finished with eight points. Pace Academy won a AA title in 2016 and a AAA title in 2017.

AAA Girls — Greater Atlanta Christian 54, Beach 44

Kaleigh Addie led Greater Atlanta Christian to its ninth state championship – first since 2007 – while finishing with a game-high 28 points and capping off a season where pre-region preparation paid dividends for the Spartans. In its first 13 games, the Spartans lost nine. Those nine losses included teams in the championships games from AAAAA (Buford, 59-25), A-Private (Holy Innocents’, 60-54). It also included semifinalists from Class AAAAAAA (Campbell, 61-47), A-Private (Hebron Christian, 59-31/Wesleyan 59-44) and AAA (North Hall, 49-48). The battle tested Spartans took advantage in the fourth quarter, outscoring Beach 24-12, a run built on its experience against quality opponents, to overwhelm the Bulldogs. Addie, a sophomore, was 10-of-16 from the floor, 2-for-2 from 3-point range while shooting 6-for-10 from the free throw line. Senior Ava Irvin scored 13 points — 11-of-13 from the free throw line. Beach’s Kaila Rougier scored 20 points to lead the Bulldogs and Madison Evans scored 11 points.

AA Boys – Swainsboro 69, Therrell 65

Swainsboro captured its first state title since winning the Class AA state championships in 1996 after weathering a late comeback attempt by the defending champions. The teams entered the fourth quarter tied at 50 and Therrell even grabbed a four-point lead with 6:38 left in the game but the Tigers got back the momentum on a basket by Immanuel Hackett. When Artis Kingsberry managed a steal and a layup, it put Swainsboro back on top and in control. The Tigers, which had beaten its playoff opponents by an average of 23.5 points, were held scoreless from the field in the final 2:41 of the game but converted crucial free throws to stay on top. Therrell scored on a Roman Son layup with five seconds left but the game was out of reach. Swainsboro was 16-of-25 from the free throw line as a team, led by Derrick Jones who shot 7-of-10 from the line. Four Swainsboro players scored in double-figures led by Frederick Seabrough’s 18 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 from the free throw line with eight rebounds. Hackett scored 11 points on 4-of-10 shooting from the floor and made 10 rebounds. Jones and Kingsberry each scored 10 points. Cedric Seabrough scored nine points with nine rebounds and three assists. RaSean Frederick led Therrell with 23 points, nine rebounds and two steals and Calvin Miller scored 16 points with three assists and two steals. Swainsboro did not qualify for the playoffs last season.

AA Girls – Douglass 56, Southwest-Macon 46

Douglass successfully defended its 2019 championship in part by a scoring flurry in the second and third quarters where the Astros outscored Southwest-Macon 29-17 after trailing 13-12 following the first quarter. Southwest-Macon led early – its largest lead by five points with 4:17 left in the first quarter – but Douglass responded to lead 27-21 at the half. Senior guard Kayla Sesberry led the way for the Astros with 25 points to front a trio of Douglass players who scored in double-figures in the victory. Sesberry was 10-of-17 from the field, 1-of-3 behind the arc and 4-of-8 from the free-throw line with two assists and four steals. Ikenya King, a senior center and captain for Douglass, scored 13 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the floor and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line with an assist and a steal. Junior guard Ashuntee Williams scored 10 points with an assist and a steal. Jakhyla Johnson and Stantangious Alford scored 14 points each to lead Southwest-Macon. Shygeria Williams added eight points.


A-Private Boys — St. Francis 76, Greenforest 55

Dwon Odom closed out his high school career with arguably the most complete game he has ever pieced together to lead St. Francis to its fourth state championship and a defense of last year’s title. The four-star Xavier-signee, No. 3 overall recruit for the 2020 class and No. 5 point guard, nationally, scored 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting with four assists and a steal to lead the Knights. St. Francis enjoyed a quick 8-0 lead to open the game, following an uncontested dunk from Odom. The Knights pushed the lead to 12-0 before Greenforest could answer. Odom was one of four Knights to score in double-figures in the romp. Senior wing Chase Ellis, a team captain alongside Odom, scored 14 points with two assists, a block and a steal. Sophomore wing Seth Hubbard scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting with two assists and two steals. Jusaun Holt, a junior wing, scored 11 points with two assists and two blocks. 3

A-Private Girls — Holy Innocents’ 66, St. Francis 53

The Lady Golden Bears overwhelmed St. Francis with 12-0 runs in the start of the second and third quarters on way to capturing its fourth basketball championship while successfully defending its 2019 title. The Knights led 16-15 after the first quarter before Holy Innocents’ took control, outscoring St. Francis 16-11 in the second quarter and 17-13 in the third quarter. The Golden Bears took its largest lead – 43-27 – after a score by Jillian Hollingshead with four minutes left in the third quarter. Holy Innocents’ senior power forward Jada Farrell scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting to lead the Golden Bears. Junior Rachel Suttle scored 19 points on 11-of-12 shooting with two assists and three steals, she was 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to help thwart the St. Francis comeback. Hollingshead, a junior center, scored 11 points. St. Francis junior guard Mia Moore and senior shooting guard Savannah Samuel each scored 11 points to lead the Knights.

A-Public Boys – Hancock Central 61, Treutlen 58 OT

Jamal Taylor gave the Bulldogs the 59-58 lead on a layup with 11 seconds left in overtime and when Taylor stole the ball and fed it to Jamarcus Morris for an easy layup with one second left, it was insurance. In the end, the Bulldogs outscored Treutlen 9-6 in overtime to capture its second state championship, first since winning the Class A title in 2008. Both programs had a chance in the final seconds of regulation after Treutlen made a pair of free throws on a 3-point foul to tie the game and the Bulldogs failed to get off a last second shot to win it. Taylor led a trio of Hancock players in double-figures with 13 points, four steals and an assist. Leroy Wilson and Marquavious Lawrence each scored 12 poionts and Trevion Crayton scored eight points. Christopher Floyd led the Vikings with 22 points. Cartavious Terry scored 13 points and Ka’Sabian Mitchell scored 11 points.

A Public Girls — Wheeler County 55, Central-Talbotton 50

After being a runner-up in 1960 and 1978, a semifinalist in 2016-17, and a quarterfinalist in 2015-16 and last season, Wheeler County finally won a state championship for coach Angelia Wright, who has been at Wheeler County for decades and never won a state championship. Wheeler County led 10-8 after the first quarter but trailed 24-22 at the half. Central-Talbotton built its largest lead – 11 points – with 4:24 left in the third quarter before Wheeler County took control with a 20-14 effort in the fourth quarter. Senior point guard Keonya Mincey scored 23 points on 7-of-16 shooting to lead the Bulldogs. Mincey was 7-of-10 from the free-throw line, including crucial shots in the fourth quarter. Samerria Bryant, a senior shooting guard, scored 16 points on 5-of-16 shooting and was 4-of-10 from the free-throw line. Le’La Wright and Keielyah Harris each scored six points for Wheeler County. Central-Talbotton was led by junior Bernyia Starks, who scored 24 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor and 4-of-6 from the free-throw line. Senior Shakemia Marshall scored 10 points on 4-of-11 shooting from the floor and 4-of-4 from the free-throw line for the Hawks.

Championship Schedule

Follow the link to see the boys and girls brackets.

Wed., March 4
2:00 pm – A Private Girls – Holy Innocents’ 66, St. Francis 53
4:00 pm – A Private Boys — St. Francis 76, Greenforest 55
6:00 pm – A Public Girls — Wheeler County 55, Central-Talbotton 50
8:00 pm – A Public Boys — Hancock Central 61, Treutlen 58 OT

Thurs., March 5
2:00 pm – 2A Girls — Douglass-Atlanta 56, Southwest 46
4:00 pm – 2A Boys — Swainsboro 69, Therrell 65
6:00 pm – 3A Girls — Greater Atlanta Christian 54, Beach 44
8:00 pm – 3A Boys — Pace Academy 48, Jefferson 35

Fri., March 6
11:00 am – 4A Girls — Americus-Sumter 66, Troup 52
1:00 pm – 4A Boys — Woodward Academy 75, Cross Creek 56
3:00 pm – AAASP — Houston County 23, Henry County 22 OT
5:00 pm – Girls 3-Point Final — Winner: Emily Acampora (Harrison)
6:00 pm – 5A Girls — Buford 66, Kell 63
8:00 pm – 5A Boys — Dutchtown 57, Cedar Shoals 44

Sat., March 7
1:00 pm – 6A Girls — Forest Park 46, Glynn Academy 30
3:00 pm – 6A Boys  — Chattahoochee 69, Lanier 66 OT
4:45 pm – Boys Slam Dunk Final — Ja’Queze Kirby (Jeff Davis)
5:30 pm – 7A Girls — Westlake 72, Collins Hill 53
7:30 pm – 7A Boys — Wheeler 60, Grayson 59


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