Class A Public girls final: Calhoun County 49, Clinch County 45

The Calhoun County girls won the Class A Public championship on March 13, 2020, at the Macon Coliseum. The Cougars defeated Clinch County 49-45.

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The Calhoun County girls won the Class A Public championship on March 13, 2020, at the Macon Coliseum. The Cougars defeated Clinch County 49-45.

MACON -- Calhoun County is moving into a new school building in the fall. Now they’ll have a fresh championship trophy to put in the display case.

The Cougars outlasted Clinch County 49-45 on Saturday to win the Class A Public title and bring home the first girls basketball championship in school history. Calhoun County finished second two years ago and lost in the semifinals a year ago. This time they weren’t going to come away empty.

“It feels good to be a champion,” Calhoun County coach Cornelius Walker said. “This group of ladies have worked hard all year, their whole career. They’re the best group to do it. It feels good to say we’re the best group to ever do it. They went out with a bang.”

The Cougars had five seniors who were playing their last game, led by Takia Davis. She finished her career by scoring nine points, getting 20 rebounds, three steals, two assists and blocking a dozen shots.

“Takia is the anchor to the whole team, on the defensive end and the offensive end,” Walker said. “Everything pretty much ran through her and she stepped up big. She did her job and brought it home.”

Calhoun County (14-1) also got 10 points and 10 rebounds from Destiny Hightower and 10 points from Carmen Cannon.

Clinch County (22-2) was led by diminutive guard Zyahia Johnson, who was 11-for-28 from the floor and scored 27 points. She was 4-for-11 on 3-pointers and had five steals. Angel McRae was limited to seven points, but had 13 rebounds.

“We knew if we stuck to our game plan and used our size and continued to do the things that got us here, playing inside-out with the bigs, then if they doubled the bigs, knocking down shots from the outside, we could be champions,” Walker said.

Calhoun County had the fast break going. They scored 10 times on the break, although it could been more had it not been for 30 turnovers. Clinch County was credited with two points off the fast break.

“Our plan was to stop them from doing what we did to them,” Walker said. “We stopped them from doing what they do to others. They normally get a lot of fast breaks off rebounds and push it out, so we used that against them and stopped them.”

The Cougars had to withstand a few obstacles on the way to the championship. They were shut down in January because of COVID-19 and did not play from Dec. 29 to Feb. 1, when the Region 1 schedule started.

“We went all of January without playing, without touching a basketball,” Walker said. “We came back playing eight games straight with no practice pretty much and were able to withstand as much we did. It’s easy for a great group of young ladies that can play basketball. I knew we had a great team, and I knew we had a chance if everybody would step up … and they did.”

*

Clinch County -- 9-10-10-16 – 45

Calhoun Count – 10-10-18-11 – 49

Clinch County: Zyahia Johnson 27, Angel McRae 7, A’Meyion Grady 6, Cara Kight 4, Taylor Well 1.

Calhoun County: Jateriah Winbush 2, Maya Wims 7, Ayanni Mansfield 5, Destiny Hightower 10, Takia Davis 9, Carmen Cannon 10, Tyesha Curry 6, Jade Wiley.