Lovett's girls basketball team built an insurmountable lead in the second half and held off a late Buford rally attempt to win the Lions' first AA state championship Saturday afternoon.
Senior Tatianna Jackson scored 20 points to lead to the 52-42 win over the Wolves at the Macon Centreplex. Buford was playing for its fourth straight title, but Lovett's staunch defense and balanced offense were too much for the Wolves to handle.
Senior Christen Johnson's putback with 1:06 left gave the Lions a 49-40 edge to put the game away. Sydney Umeri hit three three pointers and scored 11 points in in the third quarter to give Lovett, 28-5 on the year, a decisive 37-28 margin. Umeri finished with 13 points, while Johnson had 12.
The Lions jumped out to a 7-0 lead and led 15-14 at halftime. In the second half, they built up a lead of as much as 12 points to upset Buford, which had won over the the Lions in the 6-AA tournament finals.
Coach Liz Kennedy told Georgia Public Broadcasting's Mark Harmon at the trophy presentation that the championship had been a goal for the Lions since the summer. "You've got to dream it in order for it to happen," Kennedy said.
Former Hawks star Dikembe Mutombo, whose daughter, Carrie, is a freshman for the Lions, witnessed the victory, wearing a blue Lovett T-shirt.