Demons capture basketball state championship
Jacolbey Owens hit an off-balance, high pressure 3-pointer with two seconds left to give the Warner Robins Demons a 67-64 win over Miller Grove to capture the GHSA 5A state championship Thursday night.
It’s the first basketball state championship in the school has won.
Four Who Mattered
Owens: The Warner Robins senior guard ended the game with 24 points and added four assists and gave his team a state championship with his unbelievable 3-pointer.
Never miss a local story.
Sign up today for unlimited digital access to our website, apps, the digital newspaper and more.
Nelson Phillips: The senior forward for Warner Robins shook off a slow start to score 16 points to go along with 10 rebounds.
Jaydon Norman: Norman, yet another senior, scored nine of his 13 points in the second half and was pivotal in the Warner Robins comeback win.
Lorenzo Anderson: The Miller Grove guard scored 19 points and helped keep the Wolverines in the game in the second half.
Warner Robins got off to a sluggish start and trailed 15-10 at the end of the first quarter. The team was able to get to the free throw line in the second quarter and cut the lead to two at 31-29 at the half. Warner Robins took control of the game in the third quarter behind Owens and Norman and led by nine at 51-42 heading into the final quarter. But Miller Grove would not go away and fought back to tie the game at 60 with 2:58 left. Owens made four straight free throws to give the Demons the lead at 64-60 with 1:54 left, but Miller Grove answered with four free throws of its own to tie the game. Warner Robins took possession with 51 seconds and decided to go for the last shot and ran the clock down to 10 seconds and got the ball to Owens. Owens dribbled three times and took an awkward 3-pointer with a defender right on him, but the ball hit nothing but net, giving the Demons the lead with only 1.8 seconds left in the game. Miller Grove could not get off a final shot.
The winning 3-pointer was the only 3-pointer the Demons hit all night. They ended the game hitting only 1-of-11 from that distance, but the one that went in won the game.
They said it
Owens on the game winner: “I had pressure on me when I took the shot but I knew the clock was running down so I had to take it. When I shot it I was hoping it would go in but I wasn’t sure when I released it. That was definitely the biggest shot I have ever made. I mean it won a state championship for us.”
Warner Robins head coach Jamaal Garman on the final seconds: “We wanted the last shot and we wanted Jacolbey or Nelson to take it. Jacolbey has hit shots like that before but when I saw it go up I was hoping to hear a whistle and that he would get fouled. It was just a great individual effort from him.”
Garman on the win: “The kids really wanted this game and we struggled at first but seemed to settle down in the second quarter. Oh, man this is just a huge win for these kids because they have worked so hard to get here.”
Phillips on his early game struggles: “I just had to keep working hard and tried to do whatever I could to help us win. We all started to get it going in the third quarter and I had total faith in all my teammates. I have seen Jacolbey hit a lot of big shot but I mean that was an amazing shot and a great way to win a game.”