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Marist girls take 4A title in double-OT thriller: Recapping Day 1 of the Georgia high school boys and girls state championships

Avery Fantucci hits a halfcourt buzzer-beater in regulation to send the game into overtime, then scores the winning bucket in the second overtime.
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By Zach Shugan | Photo by Jamie Spaar

The 2021-22 season has reached its apex this week with the state’s top teams meeting in Macon for the GHSA state championships. 

Four days in a row at the Macon Coliseum, four state champions are crowned between boys and girls basketball.

Day One saw four teams make history by winning their first-ever state title, some of which came in dramatic fashion.

Class 4A Girls

Marist 56, Luella 54 (2OT)

In the game of the day — and one of the most memorable state championship games in recent history — Marist won its first state title and Avery Fantucci became a Macon Coliseum legend. 

Fantucci, a Michigan softball signee, sank a Hail Mary from halfcourt as the buzzer sounded to end regulation, tying the game at 46 and forcing overtime. 

After one overtime period wasn’t enough to settle the championship, the teams went to double overtime, where Fantucci (19 points) raced down the court to hit the game-winning layup as time expired. 

Lexy Faklaris added 19 points and 13 rebounds for the War Eagles, who wrapped up their historic season with a record of 28-3.

Class A Public Boys

Drew Charter 51, Warren County 50

In a game marred by controversy because of a scorekeeping error in the final four, Drew Charter topped Warren County to claim its first state title in program history.

After trailing Warren by nine points early in the second half, Cedric Taylor (13 points and five blocks) put the Eagles (31-1) ahead from the free-throw line with 13 seconds left.

Class A Public Girls

Lake Oconee Academy 45, Hancock Central 29

Day One in Macon began with Lake Oconee Academy taking home its first state championship in the young program’s history.

As they had done several times to opponents in their run to the title, the Titans (26-1) gave Hancock Central big trouble with their defense. 

Not to mention, they had a big-time performance from sophomore point guard Georgia Bosart with 17 points, 20 rebounds and six assists.

Class 4A Boys

Spencer 62, Westover 42

The day ended with Spencer (30-2) putting on a show for Columbus and bringing back a state championship trophy.

The Greenwave led 20-16 at halftime before they exploded in the second half and ran away with the state title in hand. 

Randall Dicon scored a team-high 12 points, and Tycen McDaniels (11 points and nine rebounds) and Tony Montgomery (11 points and six rebounds) were close behind.