Chipley (28-3) seemed to end the game with a 21-8 first quarter lead. In fact, they did. The Tigers almost made it a running clock game to start the second half, but a missed drive by Tyrome Sharpe prevented the inevitable.
Hawthorne (28-3) could not get going with miss after miss from jumper after jumper. The Hornets shot a disappointing 16 percent from the field in the first half– including 14 perecent from the perimeter.
Junior Trent Forest was able to impact the game anyway he saw fit in this game. He can play both guard positions with range out the perimeter. He can also handle it very well, rebounds at his position, makes good, quick moves with the ball, and can make plays for others.
Tyrome Sharpe, however, was the story in the first half. The senior combo guard led his team in points, rebounds and steals as a player standing 6-foot, maybe.
Sophomore Justin Campbell followed up his double-double semi-final performance the night before against Malone with a solid game 14 points on 6 of 7 shooting. He had to leave the game early in the first half with two quick fouls, but he showed enough throughout to convince us that he’s a player to watch in the 2017 Florida class.
Chipley’s offense not only showcased excellent shooting, but crisp passing and good movement off the ball. They managed 17 assists on 27 made field goals to win their second state title since 2012.
Before you knew it, Chipley blew the game open with a 65-26 third quarter lead and there was still five minutes left in the quarter. The Tigers’ student section had no poblem chanting taunts at a Hawthorne bench whose body language clearly modeled defeat just coming out of the locker room to start the second half.
The Chipley student section kept the momentum going from the coirt to the stands in a running clock game on live television. They were orchestrated by one student who would yell “Is that the winning team?” to which the rest of his peers would answer “Yes, that’s the winning team!” A similiar taunt was yelled but towards the losing team to which the student section would confirm what the scoreboard had done since the tip off, Hawthorne was the losing team.
To make matters worse for Hawthorne, they only scored 18 combined points in the first three quarters and ended up outscoring themselves with a 22 point fourth quarter output.
The Chipley Tigers would wrap this one up with a 69-40 Class 1A State Championship win led by junior guard Trent Forest 26 points, 11 rebounds, 7 assists, 2 blocks and 2 steals. That performance followed 39 points from the previous night against Malone.
Senior guard Tyrome Sharpe finished with 14 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists & 2 steals.
Hawthorne’s leading scorer was 5’7″ freshman guard Devin Lawrence with 16 points.