Thursday, March 3, 2016

GHSA state title games tip off with familiar participants: Hancock andWilkinson

***Update: 6:49 PM, Thursday***
Wilkinson County's 6'6" junior Greg Couson has scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in the first 20 minutes of play in GHSA's 1A public state championship game. Wilkinson County leads Hancock 42-31 in the third quarter.

According to the AJC, a win today would make Wil-Co head coach Aaron Geter II the first boys coach in 52 years to win his 8th state title. And former Augusta based (and current Atlanta based) broadcaster Sam Crenshaw reported from the sideline before the game that Wilkinson County's hoops success goes back further than the school's entry into the GHSA. The school won 3 state titles as a member of the "GIA" in the 1960's.

This game is one of 14 GHSA state title games on GPB between this evening and the end of Saturday.

***End of update***
***The portion of the post below this line was published Thursday morning, before the game began***

I planned to begin my Thursday hoops viewing with Florida Gulf Coast's Atlantic Sun semifinal matchup at top seeded North Florida. But after seeing this preview of the 1A state championship game between Hancock Central (25-6) and Wilkinson County (24-6), I’m starting with today’s 4:45 showdown on GPB TV:

The 13 WMAZ report above explains that after Wilkinson won three straight state titles, Hancock knocked them out of the playoffs in last season's quarterfinals. The teams split two regular season meetings this season. Wilkinson has developed a tradition of winning (7 state titles in 18 seasons!) unmatched by almost all of its peers. But Hancock is trying to grow that same culture.

Both teams are familiar to several teams I follow. Hancock plays in the same region as Lincoln County and Aquinas, splitting two regular season games this season with the Red Devils and sweeping the Irish. And Wilkinson eliminated Lincoln County in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs with a 76-39 win.

Buck Harris’s Baldwin squad played both of these state championship participants twice, losing both to Wilkinson and splitting with Hancock.

I asked for predictions of today's winner from coach Harris and coach Wuchte. Below is Buck's response (I couldn't embed Wes's for some reason, but he agreed with Buck) and a fun AugBball fact about Wilkinson County:

***Buck meant "can't," not "can."

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