The Jonesboro Cardinals (32-1) ascended to the top of the basketball world in Georgia for the second consecutive season with it’s 55-50 victory over Carrollton (29-3) in the 4A state championship game.
The Cardinals used a 7-0 spurt behind a Tracy Hector Jr bucket followed by a James Walker Jr three-pointer and hoop for a 35-25 lead in the third quarter. Carrollton would pull to within five at the end of the third quarter for a 37-32 score heading to the fourth.
Carrollton’s Jarel Rowe scored on a putback to tie the game at 39-all with just over five minutes remaining. Tracy Hector Jr again sparked a Jonesboro run scoring a bucket and getting fouled. He missed the free throw but Jonesboro got the rebound and Hector Jr scored again and was fouled. He again missed the free throw and Jonesboro again got the rebound and finished the possession with a Tracy Hector Jr tip-in for a six-point possession and a 45-39 lead with 3:44 left.
Carrollton would not go down easy pulling to within one on a Donate Bonner three-pointer with 4.3 seconds left. From there Jonesboro’s Walker Jr closed the game making four consecutive free throws for the final 55-50 margin.
Walker Jr finished with 21 points while Tracey Hector Jr filled up the box score with 20 points 10 rebounds and 7 steals.Hector Jr turned three of those seven steals directly into points on the other end. As a team Jonesboro forced 17 Carrollton turnovers scoring 24 points off of them. Austin Donaldson added 10 for the Cardinals.
Jonesboro ends the season with a 31-game winning streak, 5-1 vs non-Georgia opponents, did not lose to a Georgia opponent this season and look to finish in the Top 10 of the Max Preps Xcellent 25- they are currently ranked eighth. The Cardinals only loss this season came to second-ranked Montverde Academy (FL) in the second game of the season.
Monate Glenn lead Carrollton with 22 points (14 in the first half) and 11 rebounds. Cooper Criswell finished with eight while Dontae Bonner and Desmond Webb each had seven for the Trojans.