Greenforest Eagles claim 2nd straight basketball state championship
Terry Shropshire | 3/17/2017, 2:11 p.m.
The Greenforest High School Eagles boys basketball team has the makings of a bona fide sports dynasty as it crushed Southwest Atlanta Christian 81-57 to win its second consecutive state championship on March 10.
Anchored by senior superstar James Forrest’s 36 points, the squad coached by Larry Thompson claimed the Georgia High School Association Class A Private State Championship on March 10 with an authoritative 24-point decision at the McCamish Pavilion at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
This also marks the Eagles' (24-8) third title in five years.
Head coach Thompson credited the players' willingness to subjugate their individual egos for the overall good of the team and become a close unit for their ability to overcome season adversities – such as the early season Forrest injury - and reach the zenith of the sport once again.
Jandan Duggan had 14 points and Ikey Obiagu snatched a game-high 10 rebounds for the Greenforest Eagles, which resembled a runaway locomotive to the finish line. The team steamrolled opponents to end the season with a 12-game winning streak.
Isiah Cotton scored a team-high 16 points while Johnathan King and Deaundrae Ballard contributed 12 points apiece for the Warriors (26-6) in the defeat.
Nerves were evident in the beginning of the game as Greenforest shot 39 percent and SW Atlanta 34 percent in the contest. The Eagles out-rebounded the Warriors 46-37 and forced 26 turnovers.
The Warriors made a comeback attempt and a three-point play by Josh Scott gave them a 28-27 lead at the 2:41 mark of the second quarter. But Greenforest made a game-changing run with an 11-1 clip highlighted by a layup from Duggan and a three-pointer from Forrest to take a 38-29 halftime lead into the locker room.
Greenforest came out of the locker room still on fire as they outscored the Warriors 24-10 in a third-quarter run, effectively putting the game out of reach and etching their names across the state title trophy.