Eight is great for Wilkinson County.
Led by a double-double from Greg Couson, Wilkinson County won its eighth GHSA boys basketball title Thursday, topping rival Hancock Central 55-42 in the Class A Public School championship at the Macon Coliseum.
Wilkinson County (26-6) took control of things midway through the second quarter with an 8-0 run, then the Warriors outscored the Bulldogs 14-10 in the third quarter to take a nine-point lead into the final eight minutes, a lead that remained more or less intact the rest of the way.
Hancock County, which split a pair of games with Wilkinson County during the regular season and defeated Wilkinson County in double-overtime in last year's Class A Public quarterfinals, had three players finish in double figures, with Martravious Smith also recording a double-double.
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THREE WHO MATTERED
Couson: The 6-foot-6 junior center finished with 16 points and 18 rebounds. Eight of his points and eight of his rebounds came in the second quarter as Wilkinson County built its lead.
Aaron Geter III: The son of head coach Aaron Geter Jr. was a beneficiary of Couson's work on the boards, making things happen in transition. He scored 10 points.
Smith: Helped by a 50 percent effort from the field, Hancock Central's Smith scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds, with seven rebounds coming on the offensive end.
Second-quarter swing: Hancock Central (24-7) went 4-of-14 (28.6 percent) from the field in the second quarter, while Wilkinson County made 9-of-17 (52.9 percent) from the field during that time.
Early disqualification: Phillipe Scott, who helped tie things up in the middle for a time for Hancock Central, fouled out 38 seconds into the fourth quarter after scoring 11 points.
Free throws not so free: Hancock Central's fourth-quarter comeback effort was hurt by inefficiency at the free-throw line. The Bulldogs made only 3-of-11 free throws in the final quarter.
Owning the classification: Wilkinson County has won the GHSA Class A Public title in three of the four years it has been contested. It's the fourth championship in six years for the Warriors.
Turner County won its first girls basketball championship when it defeated Terrell County 55-38 in the Class A Public final. Xariah Office had 22 points and Mylashia Yancey had 21 for Turner County (31-0), while Jamya McDaniel scored 10 for Terrell County (24-4).
THEY SAID IT
Couson on winning the championship: "We made it my freshman year, and we fell my sophomore year. It feels great. It feels really great to be a junior and have two state championships."
Couson on getting past Hancock Central after splitting with them during the regular season: "We knew we were going to do it. Everyone doubted us. They said we were sorry, they said all kinds of things about us. We just held on and kept working."
Geter Jr. on Couson: "He's a very good player. He had the opportunity to get some easy scores early, which I think helped his confidence, especially defensively. He really gives us a presence down there in terms of not giving up easy baskets."
Geter Jr. on winning a championship with his son in the starting lineup: "It's a pleasure to be able to coach your own son and watch him grow up and mature and win a championship as a junior. With the possibility of him winning one as a senior, that's exciting. To see these kids overcome adversity during the course of the year and see it culminate with a championship is very exciting for me."