Warner Robins High School boys basketball team falls in title game

Sun News correspondentMarch 12, 2014 

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Warner Robins’ Nathan Curtis (11) heads straight for the hoop and the Demons first basket against Miller Grove in the GHSA AAAAA boys state championship game Friday.

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The Warner Robins Demons came up one victory shy of the GHSA Class AAAAA state championship as they fell 70-43 to the Miller Grove Wolverines on Friday at the Macon Coliseum.

The 70 points that the Wolverines put up were the most against Warner Robins since Veterans scored 71 in a loss to the Demons on Jan 18. Warner Robins hadn’t allowed a single opponent to score more than 49 during its playoff run.

“We just didn’t make plays,” Warner Robins head coach Jamaal Garman said. “At one time they had four, five, six rebounds in a row on one possession.”

Things did start well for the Demons.

Miller Grove was up five at the half, but the Wolverines offense had been held to just 27 points. Warner Robins shut down the transition game and surrendered just a single bucket on the fast break.

Standout guards Keith Pinckney and Alterique Gilbert had combined to score a modest eight points.

“I told the guys at the half, that’s the pace we want,” Garman said. “We came out in the third quarter and had the worst one of the whole year.”

Miller Grove emerged from the locker room a different team. Gilbert drove to the bucket for a three-point play after a Demon foul just five seconds into the second half, and Pinckney made it an 11-point advantage on the next possession with a 3-pointer from the right corner.

Garman called timeout to try to quell the momentum, but it wasn’t to be as the Wolverines outscored the Demons 26-7 in the third quarter. Gilbert and Pinckney finished the game with 29 points combined.

“We just weren’t rotating,” Garman said. “They have two great guards, and they took over the game. They took care of the ball and had very few turnovers, where we had a bunch of them. That kind of just made the game out of hand for us.”

Warner Robins will look to make another run next season with the key nucleus of Nathan Curtis, Marquez Callaway and Stephon Raybon all returning.

Garman believes this team sent a message to any young player hoping to join that group.

“We showed (Friday) that we will go with 11 people on the team, and we’ll make it happen,” Garman said. “We only need five on the court at one time, so the tone is set. This senior group set the bar very high, so we’re expecting that same thing from here on out.”

Contact Ryan Jordan at rjordan398@gmail.com.

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