Macon — When she was a freshman, the announcer at St. Pius hung the nickname on Asia Durr. She was “Asia-the-Amaze-You.” Rarely over her two-year career has she failed to live up to that billing and Saturday in the Class AAA championship game she was at times hard to believe.
The sophomore guard shot it effectively, threw some no-look passes that caused the crowd to visibly gasp and led the No. 3 Golden Lions to a 77-55 over No. 9 Dawson County at the Macon Coliseum and its first state championship since 2007.
“I’m lost. I don’t feel anything yet,” Durr said after getting 26 points, eight rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block. “Without my teammates, I don’t think I’d be here. They gave me the rock and I scored.”
She had plenty of help, too. Junior Jasmine Carter, her running mate at guard and teammate on a national AAU championship team, had 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. Mackenzie Garrison added 11 points, which included three 3-pointers.
“I didn’t feel like they could guard both of our guards,” said St. Pius coach Kyle Snipes. “When it was apparent what they were going to do, we decided to lean hard on Asia, and Jasmine did a good job creating things for Asia and for herself.”
St. Pius (30-3) did a defensive number of Dawson’s one-two punch of Carly Gilreath and Sheyenne Seabolt. Gilreath, the point guard, was hassled for 32 minutes and scored only 14 on 4-for-16 shooting. Seabolt, the sophomore post, scored 14 and fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
Dawson (27-6) hung as close as it did thanks to unheralded sophomore Ashley Parker, who came off the bench to score 20 points and grab eight rebounds. But Dawson, normally deadly on 3-pointers, missed its first 11 and made only 5 of 28.
St. Pius opened the game like it was going to run the table. Carter scored six and Durr scored five as the Golden Lions jumped out to an 11-1 start. But Dawson County got into the flow of the game and responded with a 10-3 run, thanks to three baskets by Parker and two by Gilreath, and cut the lead to 16-13 after the first period.
“Even though we had a big lead, I think we relaxed a little,” Snipes said. “Maybe we got a little wild-eyed.”
Dawson County continued to ride the momentum into the second period, tying the game at 16-16 and taking a 21-19 lead on a 3-pointer from Seabolt. With the Dawson-heavy crowd going crazy, St. Pius found an answer on back-to-back treys from Carter and Mackenzie Garrison. The Golden Lions then began to drive to the basket with its all-state guard tandem of Durr and Carter. Pius went to line on five straight trips and made 9 of 10 free throws to complete a 15-0 run and take a 34-21 lead with 2:46 left in the half. A three-point play by Durr, who had 13 points at the half, helped Pius to a 39-27 lead at intermission.
Pius began to run away in the third quarter thanks to a 14-4 run to open the period and stretch the lead to 53-31. Dawson County never got closer than 16 the rest of the game.
Dawson County: Gilreath 14, Seabolt 14, Costley 5, Seitz 2, Parker 20
St. Pius: Garrison 11, Carter 19, Durr 26, Daves 3, Redmond 9, Allen 4, Thomas 1, Varner 2, Tuttle 2