Mahogany Randall scored 11 first-quarter points and sparked an early 15-0 run that led Pelham to a 60-42 victory over Telfair County in the Class A-Public girls basketball championship Wednesday at the University of Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum in Athens.
The state title capped off a dominant season for Pelham, which finished 30-1 and held the No. 1 ranking from start to finish. Only six of the Hornets’ 30 victories were closer than the 18-point margin in the championship game, and four of those came against higher-classification teams. Pelham’s only loss was a 71-70 setback against Class AAAAAAA Lowndes on Jan. 10.
The championship was Pelham’s second in school history and first since 1997.
“I’m just so excited for my players, the community, the superintendent of schools, just everybody who makes up Pelham Nation,” Hornets coach Antonia Tookes said.
Second-ranked Telfair County (27-3) led 8-5 midway through the first quarter, but Randall’s second 3-pointer of the game gave Pelham the lead for good at 10-8. The run continued through the remainder of the quarter, which ended with Pelham leading 20-8.
Telfair County cut the lead to 21-12 early in the second quarter, but Pelham scored the next six points. Telfair County never got within 10 points the rest of the way. A jumper by Randall with 2:30 to play in the third quarter gave Pelham a 45-22 lead, its largest of the game.
Randall finished with three 3-pointers, all in the first quarter, and a team-high 18 points.
“All of us are not going to be on all the time, so whoever’s hot, that’s who we feed,” Antonia Tookes said. “It just happened to be Mahogany Randall tonight. Thank God it was her, because I love the way she shoots those 3s.”
Mahogany Brown scored 15 points, including 14 in the middle two quarters as Pelham expanded its lead. Willeshia Kemp had 13 points and 14 rebounds.
Destiny Thomas, the Region 1 player of the year, had just five points on 1-for-10 shooting but added 10 rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
“Destiny was the catalyst with the way she pushed the ball,” Tookes said. “It just wasn’t her time to score tonight.”
Telfair County never could find its shooting touch. The Trojans were just 17-for-73 (23.3 percent) from the field, including 4-for-33 (12.1 percent) on 3-pointers, and 4-for-18 (22.2 percent) from the free-throw line. India Wells was the bright spot for the Trojans, scoring 24 of the team’s 42 points. No other Trojan scored more than four.
Telfair County – 8-12-7-15 – 42
Pelham – 20-14-13-13 – 60
Telfair County (42): NyAsia Howard 4, Elisa Troupe 2, India Wells 24, Tyshiana Rozier 2, Brandy Mackey 4, TyAmber Wilcox 0, Tanajawa Coraham 4, Vashay Tillis 2, Kemaya Eady 0, Tamiya McLaughlin 0.
Pelham (60): Destiny Thomas 5, Mahogany Brown 17, Mahogany Randall 18, Aaliyah Williams 6, Willeshia Kemp 13, Taniyah Johnson 0, Keniyah Young 1, Takashi Jenkins 0, Sharnell Byrd 0, Jaelyn Wilson 0, Akia Corker 0, Kenjanae Brown 0, Monica Webb 0.