March 7, 2014

Calhoun's big for Class 2A basketball title comes up short

Isaiah Wilkins scored 29 points to lead undefeated Greater Atlanta Christian to a 58-55 win over Calhoun in the Georgia High School Association’s Class 2A boys state championship game on Friday at the Macon Coliseum.

Wilkins, the stepson of former NBA All-Star Dominique Wilkins, added 12 rebounds for the Spartans, who won their second consecutive championship and fourth in five years.

The University of Virginia signee scored 18 of the 29 in the second half and shot 72 percent from the floor in the game. The rest of the Spartans combined to shoot 33 percent in the game.

The 6-foot-8 Wilkins helped the Spartans (32-0) outscore Calhoun 32-16 in the paint.

Calhoun missed a pair of 3-pointers in the final seconds that would have forced overtime.

Kaelan Riley led the Yellow Jackets (26-3) with 16 points, while Chandler Curtis added 14 points for Calhoun, which never trailed by more than six points.

Class 2A girls — Kendrick 69, Wesleyan 58: Kahlia Lawrence scored 25 points to lead Kendrick to an undefeated season.

The Lady Cherokees (32-0) won their second state title in school history and denied Wesleyan a seventh consecutive state title in the process. The Wolves (27-5) equaled Hart County’s run of six straight state championships from 1989 to 1994 but came up one title shy of breaking the record.

Deja Cheatham added 16 points for Kendrick, while Nikki McDonald led Wesleyan with 15 points.

Kendrick’s full-court pressure forced 31 Wesleyan turnovers and translated into 25 points for the Lady Cherokees.

The Lady Cherokees were the first public school team to beat private-school power Wesleyan in the state playoffs since 2001, when Jefferson knocked off the Lady Wolves in the state title game.

Wesleyan has lost only three playoff games since first making the playoffs in 2001, a span that includes 10 state championships.

Class 5A girls — Tucker 83, Southwest DeKalb 65: Nuba Jackson scored 26 points to lead Tucker over their region rivals for the state title.

Tori Robinson added 21 points for the Tigers, who had never advanced past the state semifinals prior to this season. Tynice Martin scored 16 points to lead the Panthers, while Davion Wingate added 15.

Southwest DeKalb (30-3) had won 23-straight games entering Friday’s championship game — the streak included a win over the Tigers in the Region 6-AAAAA tournament on Feb. 19.

Tucker (29-4) showed no ill effects from that loss, jumping out to a 12-2 lead in the first 5 minutes of the contest.

Class 4A boys — Jonesboro 56, Columbia 51: In Thursday’s late game, Tracey Hector scored 19 points to lead Jonesboro (27-4) to its first boys basketball state title.

It was also the first such title for a Clayton County school in 21 years.

Maurice Rivers and Nick Singleton each scored 14 points to lead Columbia (28-5), which was seeking its sixth state title since 2005.

Jonesboro made 11 of 12 foul shots in the final minute of the game and 17 of 20 in the second half. The foul shooting help the Cardinals overcome 37 percent shooting from the floor in the game.

The Cardinals only trailed for 10 seconds in the second half, but they never led by more than five in a game that saw 13 ties or lead changes.

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