Class A Private boys: St. Francis 73, Eagle’s Landing Christian 69
Dwon Odom wasn’t going to allow St. Francis to leave Macon without a state championship trophy. So when the No. 1-ranked Knights saw their lead vanish in the fourth quarter, the junior guard decided to take control.
Odom scored 17 of his game-high 28 points in the final period to help St. Francis hold off Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy for a 73-69 win in the Class A Private boys championship game at the Macon Coliseum.
“I wanted to give the seniors one last memory,” Odom said. “We did it all year. It started last year in April and we told ourselves, we will make it back to state and we will get a win and we did it here. I’m so proud of my teammates.”
ELCA trailed by as 10 points before taking the lead in the fourth quarter. The Chargers led 53-51 after Felix Uadiale’s basket, but Odom changed the momentum back in his team’s direction. He drained a 3-pointer, scored on an offensive rebound and drove to the basket to convert a three-point. St. Francis suddenly had the momentum and a 59-53 lead. The Knights never trailed again.
“He’s the ultimate competitor,” St. Francis coach Drew Catlett said. “He just wants to win. He’ll do whatever it takes. He’s not a great 3-point shooter, but he makes two big 3s. He gets to the rim and makes foul shots, plays defense.”
Odom was 10-for-14 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, and was 6-for-9 at the line. He averaged 21.6 points and has scored more than 1,600 career points.
“He doesn’t care about stats – and he’s got a lot of them,” Catlett said. “But he’s just a winner. He’s got an attitude about him. He was saying, ‘Coach we’re not losing this game.”
St. Francis (28-4) also got 16 points and nine rebounds from Jusaun Holt, who scored 11 in the first period.
No. 2-ranked ELCA (22-9) was led by K.J. Jones II and Mekhi Cameron with 17 apiece. Uadiale added 16 and nine rebounds and Trevon Reddish scored 12 with nine rebounds.
St. Francis got off to a hot start. The Knights were 10-for-13 from the field in the first period and led 25-16, with Holt scoring 11 points. But ELCA began to fight its way back in the second quarter and Felix Uadiale’s three-point play with two seconds remaining cut the lead to 35-33 at intermission.
The ELCA charge didn’t really surprise Catlett, who was aware of the Chargers’ height. But St. Francis had played against larger schools and in national tournaments all year to prepare for the moment.
“We knew it was going to be a battle,” he said. “Our schedule sets us up for this. We had a will to win today.”