Class A basketball blog: Clinch County, St. Francis finish on top

Five points. That’s it. Just five points.

That was the combined difference in score of the championship games in Divisions I and II of Class A.

The entire season for two classifications came down to, really, just five points.

Clinch County claimed the team’s fifth state title with a 45-42 victory over Lake Oconee Academy in the Division II title game. Clinch previously won state championships in 1976, 1987, 1991 and 1993.

In Class A Division I, St. Francis won the program’s fourth championship after a 76-74 victory over Galloway. The Knights’ three championships came in a span of four seasons – 2013, 2015 and 2016.

In Class A Division I, St. Francis beat Jasper County 96-11, Athens Christian 9-54, Lamar County 84-45 and Woodville-Tompkins 76-36 to earn the championship berth. Clinch County beat Calhoun County 59-32, Montgomery County 57-41, Towns County 56-41 and Taylor County 63-55 on the way to the Division II championship game.

Both Galloway and Lake Oconee were trying for each team’s first state championship and the stinging will linger. However their respective runs through the bracket provided experience for the up-and-coming players.

Galloway’s path through the Division I bracket went through Social Circle 72-27, Darlington 64-35, Pelham 71-35 and Elbert County 70-57. In Division II, Lake Oconee defeated Bowdon 76-32, Schley County 63-34, Turner County 58-23 and Mount Zion-Carroll 34-14 in the semifinals.

Class A Division I Final Girls Rankings

1. St. Francis (27-6)

2. Galloway (27-6)

3. Elbert County (26-5)

4. Woodville-Tompkins (25-6)

5. Lamar County (24-5)

6. Oglethorpe County (20-9)

7. Rabun County (24-4)

8. Mount Pisgah Christian (17-7)

9. Darlington (23-6)

10. Swainsboro (18-7)

Class A Division II Final Girls Rankings

1. Clinch County (27-4)

2. Lake Oconee Academy (28-3)

3. Taylor County (27-2)

4. Mt. Zion-Carroll (25-6)

5. Montgomery County (27-2)

6. Turner County (25-4)

7. Towns County (21-9)

8. Macon County (21-9)

9. Randolph-Clay (20-10)

10. Early County (21-8)