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Baldwin's 40 Year Championship Drought Ends With Perfect Season and GHSA 4A State Title

Baldwin Braves win 2021 GHSA 4A state championship

In the final game of the opening night of the Georgia High School Association basketball state championship games, the Fayette County Tigers and Baldwin Braves faced one another for the Class 4A title. The Tigers have been scrating and clawing to win their first state title in program history that last few seasons while the Braves looked to end a 40 year drought since their last title win. Fayette County would open the game on a 5-0 run, however the Brave would not allow the Tigers to out much futher and despite multiple Baldwin player picking up two fouls early in the game, the Brave would only trail 13-12 at the end of the first quarter. The Braves would outscore the Tigers 16-12 in the second quarter and lead 28-25 at the half.

In the third quarter, the game would remain close and the Braves found themselves having to play without William Freeman, who had been a problem from the perimeter for the Tigers defensively, when he picked up his fourth foul and had to sit a good bit of the period and some of the fourth quarter. However, Baldwin would maintain their lead throughout the third quarter and take a 43-40 lead into the start of the final period of play. The Tigers would open up the fourth quarter on a 7-0 run to take a 47-43 lead, but the Braves would respond down the stretch by outscoring Fayette County 11-9 to take a 54-53 lead with 3.8 seconds to go in the game thanks to a Freeman jumper. The Tigers would have plenty of time to advance the ball up the quarter and Kaleb Banks would get a good look but his shot would bounce off the rim as time expired and Baldwin would pick up their first state title win in 40 years and finish the season at 17-0

Following the game, Baldwin head coach, Anthony Webb could not hold back his excitement on how his team capped their season. “I’m feeling great right now! It’s been a remarkable season and this is how you cap it off in a state championship game, almost the last shot of the game, I couldn’t ask for a better year.” Webb went on to give his team a lot of credit for how well they persevered throughout the pandemic season. “I’m so proud of them. With COVID and having to change the schedule and reschedule games, but the guys continued to show up in the gym, they believed in themselves, they worked hard and we got the ultimate outcome.”

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