The Cross Creek boys settled for second place last year at the state tournament, but there was no way the Razorbacks were going back to Augusta with that dinky runner-up trophy this time.

With the score tied 47-47, coach Lawrence Kelly’s team ripped off 13 consecutive points to stun Sandy Creek 57-49 on Friday and win the Class 3A championship at the Macon Coliseum. It was sweet revenge from a year ago, when Cross Creek lost to Woodward Academy in the title game.

“Those guys (last year) laid the foundation,” Kelly said. “It made us realize we’re good enough to be here, that we were good enough to play on the big stage, and today it showed.”

It was the first state title for the Razorbacks, whose girls won their first state championship in an earlier game.

The Razorbacks did their best to neutralize Sandy Creek’s Jabari Smith, a 6-foot-10 5-star recruit who signed with Auburn. Smith scored 19 points, four below his season average, and had 17 rebounds and four blocks.

It likely would have been more had it not been for the defensive effort of 6-foot-5 sophomore Antoine Lorick, who stuck with Smith like a shadow and was there all game to deny the ball, get in his way -- and just be a pest.

“We had a conversation earlier in the week, and the goal was for him to guard Jabari the whole game,” Kelly said. “That young man has a lot of potential. He’s only a sophomore, and the sky is the limit.”

The biggest stretch came in the final five minutes after Cross Creek tied the score 47-47 on Corey Trotter’s 3-pointer. Lorick made one of two free throws and his layup gave the Razorbacks a three-point lead. The flurry was capped by Lorick’s monstrous slam with 33 seconds remaining.

“The biggest thing was understanding adversity,” Kelly said. “Those guys came out and gave us a little punch, and we took that punch, and we responded. That’s big. We’ve been dealing with adversity all year. I’m just so proud of those guys.”

Lorick scored 12 points and had nine rebounds for Cross Creek (29-4). The Razorbacks also got 14 points from Devin Pope, 11 points from Richard Visitacion and 10 points and 10 rebounds from Trotter.

Sandy Creek (24-5) also got 10 points from Vic Newsom.

“A lot of people go on about the Savannah area, the Atlanta area having great ball players,” Kelly said. “Well, in Augusta, we have very good ballplayers as well.”


Sandy Creek – 10-16-12-11—49

Cross Creek – 15-13-16-13 – 57

Sandy Creek: Vic Newsom 10, Myles Rice 8, Jabari Smith 19, Micah Smith 6, Deshon Proctor 6.

Cross Creek: Devin Pope 14, Joshua Dorsey 8, Richard Visitacion 11, Corey Trotter 10, Antoine Lorick 12, Jaquez Ellison 2.