Up big with under a minute to play, coach Mack Williams cleared the Ashford Academy bench and let the starters leave with a standing ovation. Star player Alex Morris trotted to the sidelines with a grin, knowing he kept the promise he made to his coach.
“We came up short in football, but at the football banquet I told coach that I’m going to get him a state championship, and we did,” Morris said. “We just used that emotion from coming up short in football. I promised coach Mack I’d get him one in basketball. It’s unbelievable.”
Morris led the Falcons to a 58-39 win over Abbeville Christian to clinch the ASIA Class A title. Ashford led by seven at the half, but never let the Generals within striking distance.
Holding on to his championship plaque, senior Devin King said its a far cry from the one-win team he was on two years ago.
“We’ve been practicing hard, and we just wanted it, we were hungry,” King said. “We just came together as a team, we’re real close. It helps when you’re all friends in a sport like basketball.”
Morris scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half. Drex Roach led Abbeville with 13 points, and Blaine Sellers added nine. The Falcons (24-7) outscored the Generals (11-22) 15-6 in the third to stretch the lead to 16 heading into the final period.
“We weren’t going to be denied,” Williams said. “Even though we won by 21 points, it was still a hard-fought game. Our kids got their second wind, Alex relaxed a little more, and they just finished strong, that’s the name of the game.”