The Warner Robins Demons punched their ticket to the GHSA 5A basketball final Saturday, defeating Clarke Central 77-57.
In the opening quarter with both teams’ adrenaline rushing, the Demons squeaked out a 15-12 lead in a rather sloppy beginning to the game at Wildcat Arena at Fort Valley State University
The second quarter saw Warner Robins focus in on its defensive prowess and take advantage of an extremely hot and motivated Nelson Phillips. By halftime the Demons had extended their lead to 38-23.
The third quarter saw the Demons find the range from deep as they connected on three 3-point shots. Junior Trevon Williams connected on two from behind the arc. The exclamation point of the quarter came with about 1 minute remaining when Phillips stole the ball, passed it to senior guard Jacolbey Owens who lobbed it up to Phillips for an emphatic dunk that nearly blew the roof off the gym.
Warner Robins stated the fourth quarter with a 55-36 lead. Clarke Central began the quarter trying to reel the Demons back in scoring 7 straight points, but Phillips put a stop to the bleeding by scoring on consecutive possessions. Clarke Central kept fighting and even reduced the lead to 9 points but could not stop the Demons’ march to the title game.
Leading by 3 after the first quarter, Warner Robins increased its defensive intensity, and attacked the basket on offense. The results were an 11-point output by Clarke Central and a parade to the free- throw line for the Demons, led by senior Nelson Phillips.
Phillips went 8-12 from the free-throw line and scored 13 of the Demons 23 points in the quarter.
By halftime, Warner Robins led by 15 and Clarke Central was never able to threaten a comeback.
Three who mattered
Nelson Phillips: Phillips finished with a game high 32 points. He dominated the game in the second quarter, and every time Clarke Central made a run he was there to shut it down.
Jaydon Norman: The senior forward gave a great effort defensively and provided 12 points from the interior.
Trevon Williams: Williams was the consistent outside threat for the Demons. On top of stifling defense, he hit four triples and finished with 13 points.
They said it
Head coach Jamaal Garman on heading back to Macon: “It's great to be going back. You just can't count on this because it's not like we are going to continue to always be there, so to be back this year is just a blessing.”
Garman on Phillips’ performance: “That was a big time game from Nelson Phillip for us. He had it going from the 3-point line, he was knocking down his free throws. Once he has that going, it's hard to stop him because you have to close out and he will just go by you and finish at the rim.”
The Demons will be at the Macon Centreplex on Thursday to take on Miller Grove in the Boys 5A championship. Tip off is at 8 p.m.