Brandon Goodwin has been the recipient of several scholarship offers from mid-major programs. After his performance in Saturday’s Class AAAAAA championship game he may expect to get a few more.
The senior continued his stellar play in the state playoffs by scoring 22 points to lead No. 3 Norcross to a 60-48 win over No. 5 Hillgrove at the Macon Coliseum. It was the fifth state championship over the last eight years for the Blue Devils, who last won the title in 2011.
The win gave Norcross the boys and girls basketball championship. The Blue Devils became the first school in the history of the Georgia High School Association to hold the both state basketball championships and the state football championship from the same school year.
“This means a lot, to end our senior year with a state championship,” said Goodwin, while clutching the silver championship trophy. “I wasn’t going to leave without getting one.”
Goodwin, who scored 26 in the semifinal win over North Cobb, led the Blue Devils with 22 points on 7-for-11 shooting with seven rebounds and two assists.
Norcross (27-6) also got 12 points from foul-troubled Ricky Madison and 11 points, four rebounds and three assists from Khalen Pinkett.
Hillgrove (29-4) was making its first appearance in the championship game but showed no signs of nerves. The Hawks were led by Keith Ray with 13 points and five rebounds and B.J. Brown with 12 points – all on 3-pointers – and a team-high seven rebounds.
The teams spent the first quarter getting used to the physical nature of a state championship game. Hillgrove scored on a pair of 3s by John Franklin and Ray and took a 10-9 lead when Kyle Castlin’s basket at the buzzer counted after a goaltending call.
The second quarter was one for streaks. Hillgrove scored the first 10 points of the period to complete a 12-0 run and take a 20-9 lead. But Norcross got its fast break in gear and ripped off 10 straight of its own to make it a one-point game, which is where it stayed at the half, as Hillgrove led 25-24 at the intermission.
The close nature of the game continued in the third quarter. Norcross tied it at 30-30 on a pair of free throws by Lorenzo Carter and the teams swapped the lead five more times before the end of the quarter. Norcross took a 41-39 lead on a basket and a free throw by Goodwin.
Norcross made its break early in the fourth quarter when Pinkett scored on consecutive trips to continue an 11-3 run that enabled the Blue Devils to take a seven-point lead, which they never came close to relinquishing.