When the clock struck zero on last year’s LaGrange Toyota Basketball Classic, there was no doubt who the best team was.
Hillgrove, a Class AAAAAA school from Powder Springs, dominated the field at last year’s tournament to capture the championship.
In the championship game, Hillgrove pulled away from W.D. Mohammed in the fourth quarter to capture a 72-54 victory.
W.D. Mohammed got within seven early in the fourth quarter, but Hillgrove dominated the rest of the game to win going away.
Hillgrove also beat Northgate 81-34 and Opelika 71-40 to reach the championship game.
“It was a great tournament. LaGrange does a great job putting this thing on,” Hillgrove coach Edward Morris said. “We were fortunate enough to win. The kids did a great job.”
Hillgrove went on to enjoy an exceptional season.
The Hawks went 28-5, and they lost to Norcross 60-48 in the state-championship game.
W.D. Mohammed, which made it to the Class A quarterfinals a year ago, went 2-1 in last year’s tournament to earn the runner-up spot.
Opelika went on to finish third in last year’s tournament.
After losing to Hillgrove in the semifinals, Opelika rebounded to edge LaGrange 55-53 in the third-place game.
LaGrange lost to W.D. Mohammed 64-57 in the semifinals, setting up the showdown for third place with Opelika.
In the fifth-place game, Rockdale beat Valley 51-45, and St. Francis topped Russell County 81-69 in the seventh-place game.
Hillgrove 72, W.D. Mohammed 54
Opelika 55, LaGrange 53
Rockdale 51, Valley 45
St. Francis 81, Russell County 69