Facing Curtist Baptist in Saturday’s state-championship game at Mercer University, the Wildcats found themselves down by nine at the half, and they were unable to get any closer than that on the way to a 56-47 loss.
It was the third straight trip to the state finals for the Wildcats, who lost in 2011 before winning it all last year.
This Wildcats made it back to the big stage this season despite losing all five starters from last year’s team.
“We made a few mistakes, but we played the best we could,” Dawson Street head coach Tory McCray said. “I was satisfied with the guys’ effort. They put it all on the line. Curtis Baptist was a pretty good team. They won fair and square.”
Trailing 45-28, the Wildcats made a move in the fourth period.
When Jon Horne made a 3-pointer with 6:15 remaining, the Wildcats were on a 7-0 run, and what had been a 17-point deficit was down to 10.
The Wildcats came no closer, though, with Curtis Baptist maintaining at least a 10-point cushion the rest of the way.
“Their guards were pretty good, and the coach put in the right press breaks,” McCray said. “They ran their press breaks well versus our pressure.”
Anthony Ferrell led the Wildcats with 14 points, and senior point guard Weston Patterson added 13 points in his final high-school game.
It was also the final game for senior Shaquille Tiggs, the Wildcats’ top inside player.
Everyone else is returning, though, including Antavious Sands, who started at the two guard as a freshman.
“Are kids are young, and we’re growing,” McCray said. “We look forward to the future.”
For Curtis Baptist, meanwhile, it was the first state championship since the 1996-1997 season.
“I tell you, it’s been a while for Curtis Baptist School, and we’re just so excited for these young men,” Curtis Baptist head coach John Spurlock said. “It’s an honor and something they can take away for the rest of their lives.”