Keith Pinckney scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half and fellow senior James Walker added 11 of his 18 after the break as the Wolverines coasted to their sixth consecutive championship with a 70-43 victory over Warner Robins in the Class AAAAA title game Friday at the Macon Centreplex.
This trophy, banner and set of rings may carry a little more weight for the Wolverines due to the death of teammate Terrell Coleman, who wore jersey No. 24, before the start of the season.
“Terrell was a very special part of our program,” Miller Grove head coach Sharman White said. “He was incredible and to lose him like we did was devastating to our guys and myself. One thing we tell our guys is that adversity reveals your weakness or your strength and they proved they were strong.”
“We did it for Terrell--our brother,” said Pinckney, who celebrated his. “It's amazing what a group of guys can do when they have a why. When they come together as one--as a unit, it's amazing. We are just blessed and highly favored and we just thank the Lord.”
Claiming just a five-point advantage at the half, Miller Grove (28-5) woke up at the beginning of the third.
Sophomore Alterique Gilbert converted a three-point play after a layup and Pinckney nailed a 3-pointer, and all of a sudden the margin ballooned to 33-22. Then Walker got into the act, getting a couple of easy layups and Pinckney drained another 3-pointer to help propel Miller Grove into the fourth quarter with a 53-29 advantage.
“We just didn't do a good job in the first half of playing our style of basketball,” White said. “So we made those adjustments and gave the guys a reality check--this is the championship game. It's either win or else and they responded.”
“The last couple of days my coach was telling me to go out on top and I just had to go hard for my team and step up and be a man,” Pinckney said.
Marquez Callaway scored 15 points and Nathan Curtis added 13 for the Demons (28-3), who shot just 29 percent overall compared to the Wolverines’ 49 percent.
“These guys battled all year long even when people doubted them,” White said. “People thought this was one of our weakest teams but they just showed up and showed out.”