“Revenge is a dish best served cold” is an oft-used old saying. The Norcross Blue Devils agree.
After being eliminated by Milton in last year’s Class 5A quarterfinals in a controversial ending, the Blue Devils had a shot Friday night to even the score. And they did with a shocking 59-55 upset of the state’s No. 1 team. Milton led by 14 at one point and looked like they would turn Norcross into yet another outmatched opponent. But the Blue Devils ended the game on a 20-6 run.
E. Victor Nickerson tied the game with 1:30 left on a three-pointer, a shot which took the lead away from Milton for the first time since the early moments of the second quarter. From there, the Blue Devils relied on four Chris Bolden free throws in the final minute to take the lead and then seal the game.
Nickerson finished with 15, while Bolden had 13. Shannon Scott led Milton with 16 points.
Class AAAAA Finals
Norcross 61, McEachern 36: The Lady Blue Devils used a 23-2 run in the second quarter to help clinch their second straight state title. Diamond DeShields led Norcross with 27 points, while Dearica Hamby grabbed 19 boards. It was the biggest blowout in a girls Class 5A final since 1998.
Class AAAA Finals
Fayette County 55, Forest Park 45: The Lady Tigers held off Forest Park in the second half of the Class 4A final. It is the first state title for Fayette County, but it was the third time in four seasons the Tigers have made the trip to the finals. Brianna Banks led Fayette County with 14 points.
Miller Grove 67, Rockdale County 59: The Wolverines won their third consecutive state title with a late run. The game was tied at 53 with 4:37 left in the game, but Brandon Morris scored six points for in the final minutes to help the Wolverines take the title. Tony Parker led “The Grove” with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Class AAA Semifinals
Dalton 53, Crisp County 46: Dalton will play in the Class 3A championship game against Washington County on Saturday. The Lady Catamounts led by five with a minute left in the game, and April Besley hit a key shot to put the game out of reach. Amanda Rector had 14 and Besley had 11 to lead the Lady Catamounts. Dalton remains undefeated this season.
Washington County 57, Columbia 47: The Lady Golden Hawks came back to thwart Columbia’s bid to win back-to-back state titles. Despite trailing 39-34 at the end of three, Washington County (31-0) dominated the final period. Allisha Gray had 25 to lead the Lady Hawks. “WACO” will face Dalton in the state finals Saturday.
Columbia 72, Eagles Landing 47: The Eagles will have a chance to defend their state title on Saturday as they defeated Eagles Landing 72-47 in the semifinals. Jhaustin Thomas led Columbia with 18 points while Algie Key added 15. It was the 12th consecutive win for the Eagles, who enter the finals with a 29-3 record.
Butler 45, Franklin County 39: Despite trailing for much of the first half, the Bulldogs took control in the second to advance to the state finals. Franklin County led a low-scoring affair 12-7 after one and 18-16 at the half. But the Bulldogs woke up in the third quarter to outscore the Lions 14-8.