In the win over Cross Creek, Kessler had 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting while guard Michael Whitmore finished with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and five steals.
Kessler said, "He's the best point guard I've ever played with, one of the most unselfish people I know. He cares about the team more than anything." Woodward Academy (30-2) had three others score in double figures: Will Richards with 15 points and eight rebounds, Jacorrei Turner with 12 points and five rebounds, and Emory Lanier with 11 points.
"They had the idea to shut me off and they did that pretty well," Kessler said. "But the team I'm on is such a good team and talented team that it didn't have to go through me. We have six weapons … it's like an arsenal … so in the end we were the better team."
Americus-Sumter claimed its second state championship since 2016 with its 66-52 victory over Troup. Trinity Jones led the Panthers with a game-high 21 points in which she scored 11 points in the decisive final quarter. The biggest takeaway from the Panthers winning this year’s crown is the incredible one-year turnaround that the program made. Last season, The Panthers were an 11-15 team that missed their first playoff since the 2014 season. Here’s a look at how the final rankings shaped up, including each team’s final record.