Miller Grove NYC Bound

The Miller Grove Wolverines won their seventh Georgia state title in the last eight years after a 50-48 victory over Allatoona last Friday in the class 5A finals. Aaron Augustin tallied 16 points while Alterique Gilbert scored 15 in the victory.

Miller Grove (30-2) did not lose to a team from Georgia all season, posted a 4-2 record against out-of-state opponents- losing to Chaminade (MO) and Lone Peak (UT), finished No.1 in both major state polls and are currently ranked No.17 in the latest USA Today Super 25. The reward is a trip to New York to play in the Dick’s High School Nationals later this month

The Wolverines will face nationally respected Findlay Prep (28-1) of Henderson, NV-ten players drafted into the NBA since 2010. Findlay is averaging 102 points-per-game and have scored over 100 points in thirteen games including four games of 140-plus points. The Pilots lone loss this season came to instate foe Bishop Gorman.

The Pilots have seven players averaging double figures this season led by Markus Howard at 20.8ppg, Howard is shooting the long ball at a 53% clip. Donnie Tillman, PJ Washington, Carlos Johnson, Tristian Clark and Skylar Mays all average between 16.3 points and 10.3 points for Findlay.

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Miller Grove is known for booking a national schedule yearly however drawing an invite to the national tournament was just as much a driving force as “GOTB34” (Get Our Trophy Back 3/4).

“Excited for our guys, our school, and our community as this was a goal we set in the off-season,” Miller Grove head coach Sharman White said about the opportunity to continue their season.

Alterique Gilbert (20.4 pts), Aaron Augustin (9.7 pts), Colin Young (11.2 pts) and Raylon Richardson (9.6 pts 8.4 reb) power the Miller Grove charge as they look to improve on their 23-game winning streak.

Miller Grove becomes the second team in as many years from the state of Georgia to earn an invite to the event. Last season class 6A champion Wheeler played in the event after a drum up of support from the school, community, players, coaches and supporters after the state association intially would not allow them to participate.

Miller Grove had no such issues with the state association (GHSA) this season as the association is still under fire for blatant disregard for not only their own rules but the rules of the NFHS by allowing the state championships to be played on non-regulation baskets.

Miller Grove and Findlay Prep will play on Marcher 31st at 6pm et on ESPNU

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Georgia 2A Championships

Holy Innocents entered the 2A girls championship on a three-game losing streak in state championship games spanning two different classifications. Junior Khayla Pointer was apart of the last two and was fed up with losing in title games. Pointer set the tone in the first half by scoring 21 of the Lady Golden Bears 33 first half points to put Holy Innocents up 33-28 at the half on Wesleyan.

However Wesleyan’s championship pedigree would not allow them go down easy. Sutton West’s triple tied the game 59-all with less than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter. On the ensuing possession Holy Innocents committed a turnover but Wesleyan returned the favor by turning the ball over in its backcourt and then committing an ill advised foul on a three-point shot during the scramble play with six tenths of a second left. Shai Blanding missed all three free throws sending the game to overtime squared at 59.

In overtime Wesleyan took a 63-59 lead on four free throws by Amaya Register and Sutton West for a 63-59 lead. Holy Innocents knotted the count again on two free throws by Kennedy Sutton and a floater from Aaliyah Milord tied the game at 63.

Register split a pair of free throws to put Wesleyan up 64-63 and Khalya Pointer happened again. Pointer hit a driving layup and Shai Blanding redeemed herself by splitting a pair of free throws to give the Golden Bears the 66-64 lead with twenty seconds remaining. Wesleyan did not make a field goal in the overtime session.

Wesleyan had one final attempt with 3.1 seconds left but Pointer stole the inbound pass to seal Holy Innocents hard fought 66-64 win and send outgoing head coach Tony Watkins out with a championship, the schools first since 1999.

Pointer finished with a game-high 33 points on 11-of-20 from the field with two assists. Erika Cassell finished with a double-double posting 11 points with 13 rebounds while Blanding tallied nine points and Suttle finished with five points and nine rebounds for Holy Innocents (27-5).

Register led Wesleyan (27-5) with 16 points and went 10-of-12 from the foul line. Cairo Booker put in 13 points, Mikayla Coombs tallied 12 and Natalie Armstrong posted a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds.

Georgia 4A Championships

Veterans had no answer for a balanced and determined effort from Americus-Sumter as the Lady Panthers shot out to a quick 10-0 lead in the first quarter behind Amber Hicks and Jykiera Long and never looked back.  Americus-Sumter (31-1) expanded its lead to as many as 24 points in the third quarter and did not allow Veterans a double digit scoring quarter until the game was out of reach in the fourth quarter in a 56-38 rout of Veterans.

A’Taynanna Gaulden finished with a game-high 16 points and Jykeira Long tallied 12 for the Lady Panthers.

Veterans (27-5) only double-figure scorer was Kya Cochran with 11 points and 8 rebounds.

It was the first state title for Americus-Sumter since the 2004 merger of Americus and Sumter County high schools. Americus High won the 1A title in 1966.

Liberty County (28-1) sought revenge against Jonesboro from last seasons semifinal blowout loss and got it with a 58-52 victory to land the schools first state championship in any sport. Richard LeCounte’s free throws with just over two minutes remaining in the first quarter gave Liberty County an 8-6 lead and they never trailed again.

LeCounte finished with a team-high 20 points to go with 9 rebounds.Will Richardson put in 19 points, Davion Mitchell was held to a modest 14 points while Jaalon Frazier finished with a game-high 15 rebounds.

Jonesboro (28-5) was paced by standout James Walker Jr with 22 points, Jamari Smith put in 10 points while Zerrick Cooper had 8 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Cardinals.

 

 

 

Georgia 1A Public Championships

The Turner County Lady Rebels (31-0) sealed their first-ever state championship with a 55-38 victory over Terrell County.  Xariah Office led Turner County with 22 points while Mylashia Yancey finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists despite playing in foul trouble.

Turner County head coach Tasha Kimble finished a special season as she coached both the girls and boys teams this season compiling a 54-7 combined record with the boys losing in the semifinals.

Terrell County (24-4) was led by Jamya McDaniel’s 15 points while Jameil McDaniel posted a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

In the boys final the Wilkinson County Warriors overcame a slow start to knock off Hancock Central in the rubber match between the squads. Wilkinson County (26-6) broke a 16-all tie with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter on an Aaron Geter III hoop, the Warriors never trailed again. Hancock Central (24-7) was able to to pull as close as seven in the early moments of the fourth quarter but Wilkinson County quickly pushed the lead back to double digits, maintaining it until the 55-42 final.

Greg Cousin powered Wilkinson County with a 16-point 18-rebound double-double. Geter III finished with 10 points, Jonathan Baehre tallied nine points and eight rebounds while Larry Jones put in eight as the Warriors won head coach Dr. Aaron Geter his eighth state championship and third in the last four years.

Dr. Geter has won state titles in 1999, 2000, 2002, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2016.

Martravious Smith posted a double-double with 13 points, 10 rebounds, Phillipe Scott tallied 11 while Alex Brooks finished with 10 for the Hancock Central Bulldogs.