MACON – When the first set of state rankings were published in December, the Greenforest Christian boys were ranked No. 5. The Eagles took the snub personally. It heightened their resolve. And on Wednesday they showed the rest of the state what they knew all along. They were No. 1.

Greenforest, a small Christian school in south DeKalb County, overpowered Manchester 68-39 to win the Class A Division II championship at the Macon Coliseum It was the fifth state championship for Greenforest, its first since 2022.

“This has been our goal all year,” said Greenforest senior guard Elijah Lewis, who scored a game-high 18 points. “It feels great.”

Not starting the season ranked No. 1 was just the challenge his team needed, coach Rory Griffin said. It certainly provided some incentive.

“They started us off at No. 5 and that sort of ticked us off,” Griffin said. “From that point it was on them. We weren’t going to stop until we passed them.”

Greenforest showed its dominance in the postseason, winning the five state tournament games by an average of nearly 37 points. Three times the Eagles’ defense held the opposition to fewer than 40 points. They averaged almost 80 points and finished with a 21-game winning streak.

Greenforest (27-4) also got 11 points and 11 rebounds from Caleb Kawela. Russ White had nine rebounds, Daniel Daramola scored nine with seven rebounds, and point guard Michael Robinson scored eight.

Manchester (21-9) got 14 points from Treylin Jones and 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks from Daryus Bryant.

Click here for the official box score.

Manchester was able to use its press and stay with Greenforest for much of the first quarter and led 11-9 with 3:36 left. But once the Eagles decided how to attack, they were on their way.

“We told them to stay solid and play team defense,” Griffin said.

Greenforest scored seven unanswered to end the quarter and stretched the lead to nine points by starting the second quarter with a 6-1 spurt.

Eventually Greenforest’s height and quickness wore the Blue Devils down. The Eagles, who were 1-for-7 on 3s in the first half, connected on three in the third quarter and built a 52-46 lead at the end of the period.

Griffin said, “This means everything to us. We’re humbled to come back to Macon. It’s not something we expect because every year is an uphill battle for us. We schedule a national schedule so when it comes to this stage, they can handle it. I’m just proud of everybody.”

It was the second runner-up finish for Manchester in a major sport this year. The Blue Devils lost to Bowdon in the football final in December.

Greenforest's head coach Rory Griffin (right) and players celebrate their win over Manchester during GHSA Basketball Class A Division II Boy’s State Championship game at the Macon Centreplex, Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2024, in Macon. Greenforest Christian won 68-39 over Manchester. (Hyosub Shin /


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