All four final games are set for this week. The public schools will decide their champions in Macon on Wednesday, while the private schools will decide theirs, Friday at Georgia Tech. Here’s a look:
PUBLIC GIRLS FINALS Wednesday at Macon Centreplex, 6 p.m.
No. 3 Marion County vs. No. 4 Greenville
Greenville has been led all year by the state’s leading scorer, Brittany Davis, and the semifinals was no different. The senior Mississippi State signee scored 47 points to lead the Patriots (27-2) past top-seeded Telfair County, 73-62. Davis is now averaging 40 points per game … This is Greenville’s first appearance in the finals … This is Marion County’s first appearance in the state finals as well … The Eagles (26-4) won a defensive battle over No. 2 Terrell County, 45-40, in the semis.
PUBLIC BOYS FINALS Wednesday at Macon Centreplex, 8 p.m.
No. 3 Wilkinson County vs. No. 4 Montgomery County
Both teams squeaked by their opponents in the semifinals. Wilkinson County (25-6), the two-time defending state champs, needed a last-second bucket by junior guard Raequan Smith to defeat Central-Talbotton, 61-60. Montgomery County (28-3) nearly blew an eight-point lead with less than two minutes left in regulation, but hung on to knock out No. 1-seeded Calhoun County, 80-78 … This is Montgomery County’s first appearance in the finals since 1975. The Eagles also advanced to the championship game in 1972. Both times Montgomery County failed to bring a state title back to Mt. Vernon … On the flipside, Wilkinson County is going after its tenth state championship, its sixth since 2011 … Wilkinson County has one of the state’s most consistent programs, having missed the state playoffs just once since 1990 (1996).
PRIVATE GIRLS FINAL Friday at Georgia Tech, 2 p.m.
No. 1 Holy Innocents’ vs. No. 6 Wesleyan
Both teams easily dispatched of their semifinal opponents, en route to their fourth meeting this season. Holy Innocents’ (30-1) downed No. 4 Stratford Academy, 51-32, while Wesleyan (26-4), the defending state champions, handled No. 2 St. Francis, 71-49 … Holy Innocents’ lone loss of the season came in November at the hands of Class AAAAA semifinalist Buford (54-47) … The Bears, led by UGA signee Kaila Hubbard, has beaten Wesleyan in each of the teams’ three meetings this season, twice in the regular season (48-34 and 69-49) and in the Region 5 championship game (54-47) … In her 18th season as head coach, Jan Azar has led Wesleyan to 12 state titles (six in Class AA) and failed to reach at least the Final Four just once (2003) … Holy Innocents, the 2016 state champions in Class AA, has been to at least the quarterfinals for six consecutive seasons.
PRIVATE BOYS FINAL Friday at Georgia Tech, 4 p.m.
No. 4 St. Francis vs. No. 6 Aquinas
St. Francis (27-3) dominated No. 8 Holy Innocents’ in the semifinal, 83-54, as four Knights – Dwon Odom (20 points, four assists, two steals), Sam Hines (16 points, six rebounds, four assists, four blocks), Chase Ellis (14 points, seven rebounds, two blocks) and CJ Riley (12 points, three steals) – all scored in double figures … St. Francis has been to six straight Final Fours, and now three finals, winning championships in 2014 and 2015 … Aquinas (28-5) upset No. 2 Eagle’s Landing Christian, 47-41, in the other semifinal … The Irish, a senior-laden team, are in the finals for the first time in school history.
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Credit: Nathan Posner for the AJC