2016 Georgia, Alabama State Champs Battle As Miller Grove Defeats Sacred Heart 66-60
On Thursday, the Wheeler High School “Tournament of Champions Holiday Classic” kicked off at the all new Wildcat Arena in Marietta. One of the featured games of the day was the 2015/2016 Georgia High School Association Basketball Class 5A Champions, the Miller Grove Wolverines, facing the 2015/2016 Alabama High School Athletic Association Basketball Class 1A Champions, the Sacred Heart Cardinals. Miller Grove opened up the game with a 9-0 lead draining back to back to back three point shots. Sacred Heart would final get on the board but it would be the Wolverines up 14-6 after #10 Naquante Hardy hit a point bucket and was fouled on the play. Sacred Heart would cut the Wolverine lead to 3 after #23 Kevion Nolan connected for a 2 point shot, but Miller Grove’s #1 Diante Wood would slam home a monster dunk allowing Miller Grove to take the lead back up to 7 making it 18-11 with 1:15 left in opening quarter however Sacred Heart would manage to cut the lead down to 4 making it 18-14 at the end of the first quarter.
At the start of the 2nd quarter, Kevin Page & George Wilson would help the Wolverines jump back up to a 10 point lead forcing the Cardinals to use a time-out. Miller Grove would maintain a comfortable lead throughout the 2nd quarter as they controlled the pace of the game not allowing Sacred Heart to get many second chance shots. After the Wolverines went up by as many as 13, Sacred Heart was able to trim the lead to 7 after Wood hit back to back baskets, including a thunderous dunk, as Miller Grove would take a 32-25 into the half. As the second half got started Miller Grove would increase their lead to 13 with 3:11 to go in 3rd.
Costly turnovers by the Cardinals would allow Miller Grove to go up 15 and eventually would go on to close out the 3rd leading 50-29. By the 5:25 of 4th Miller Grove was up 22 with the score 54-32. However, sloppy ball handling and a relentless press would allow Sacred Heart’s Nolan to go on a scoring tear in the 4th as he dropped 22 of his 27 points in the final period including back to back to back 3 pointers and 2 point bucket to help the Cardinals cut the lead down to as little as 4 points but it would not be enough as Miller Grove would go on to get the win 66-60. Miller Grove was lead by Hardy with 18 points on the night.