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Laney boys claim Augusta school's first basketball championship

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MACON, Ga. — For a program that had never reached a state championship game, Lucy C. Laney High School played like it always belonged.

The Wildcats raced to an early lead and never trailed after the opening basket, rolling to a 67-53 victory over Manchester on Saturday night at the Macon Coliseum to claim the school’s first state title in the GHSA Class AA playoffs.

It was sweet redemption for a senior-laden team that had lost in the semifinals in 2010 and ’11.

“I really had a feeling we could get back here this year,” said senior center Shaquille Cook, who scored 10 in the final for the Wildcats. “We fell a little short last year, but it feels good to know I was part of going down in history at Laney.”

Jammie West scored Laney’s first 11 points and finished with a game-high 20 points and was swarmed by his teammates in a mosh pile on the floor after the title was secured, despite Manchester cutting a 25-point fourth-quarter lead to just eight with 2:40 remaining.

Washington County’s girls weren’t as fortunate in a matchup of the last two Class AAA girls champions. The Lady Hawks had their 63-game winning streak snapped Saturday by Columbia, 57-33.

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