Class A Public girls final: Lake Oconee Academy 45, Hancock Central 29

Coach Ed Wilson and the Lake Oconee Academy players celebrate their 45-29 victory over Hancock Central in the Class A Public championship game on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at the Macon Coliseum.

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Coach Ed Wilson and the Lake Oconee Academy players celebrate their 45-29 victory over Hancock Central in the Class A Public championship game on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at the Macon Coliseum.

When the shots weren’t falling early for top-ranked Lake Oconee Academy, guards Georgia Bosart and Jada Williams were there to clean up the misses.

The Region 8 co-players of the year combined for 33 rebounds and led the Titans to a 45-29 victory over Hancock Central in the Class A Public girls basketball championship game Wednesday at the Macon Coliseum. It was the Titans’ first state title in program history.

Bosart, a sophomore point guard, finished with 17 points, 20 rebounds, six assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Williams, a junior guard, was held to four points but contributed 13 rebounds, two assists, two steals and a block.

Lake Oconee Academy (26-1), which has no seniors on its roster, was 2-for-14 from the field in the first quarter and 0-for-14 on 3-pointers in the first half but still led 22-14 at halftime, in large part because of its 26-14 advantage in rebounds. For the game, the Titans outrebounded Hancock Central 48-35.

Hancock Central, which was unranked coming into the tournament despite winning the Region 7 championship, finished the season 18-4. The Bulldogs also were seeking their first state title.

“Boy oh boy, our girls played really big today,” Lake Oconee Academy coach Ed Wilson said. “I think they outsized us at almost every position, so I was really proud of that. I think that was the game winner, just being able to outrebounded them.

“We didn’t shoot the ball well. We were 0-for-14 in the first half from the 3-point line, and that’s not really who we are. So that rebounding kept us where we needed to be.”

Hancock Central led early 7-2 but then went almost six minutes without scoring, a drought that ended on a layup by Sonovia Reynolds that tied the game 10-10 with 5:01 remaining in the first half.

Lake Oconee Academy then went on a 12-4 run over the next five minutes behind eight points from Bosart for an eight-point halftime lead. The Titans outscored Hancock Central 18-7 in the period.

“Georgia just kinda took over there,” Wilson said. “Georgia’s just a sophomore. She’s really lanky and long and just handles the ball so well. She’s a high-level golfer, but I asked her yesterday if she had any interest in playing college basketball. She said, ‘I’m really starting to like basketball.’”

A layup by Lake Oconee’s Jane Monachello early in the third quarter made it a 10-point game. Hancock Central cut the lead to 24-15 on a free throw by Jameria Lawrence with 5:17 remaining in the quarter, but Lake Oconee scored the next four points, and Hancock Central never got closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Monachello and Hannah Heinen had nine points each for the Titans. Lawrence and Reynolds led Hancock Central with eight points each.

Hancock Central’s final points came on a jumper by Jychera Fluellen that was originally credited as a 3-pointer but was later confirmed as a 2-point basket.

Hancock Central - 7-7-7-8 - 29

Lake Oconee Academy - 4-18-11-12 - 45

Hancock Central (29): Neela Lamar 5, Jameria Lawrence 8, Tiamber Williams 2, Jychera Fluellen 2, Jalexia Hargrove 4, Sonovia Reynolds 8, Aniy Hill, Makiyah Reese, Key’Nya Scott, Shaniyah Battle.

Lake Oconee Academy (45): Georgia Bosart 17, Jane Monachello 9, Hannah Heinen 9, Jada Williams 4, Kensi Stevens 4, Ava Johnson 2, Willa Kent, Jacy Singleton, MaryClaire McCommons, Gracie Arrington.