Unity Christian's Austin Wilkerson vs. Pepperell

Unity Christian’s Austin Wilkerson battles in the offensive end against Pepperell’s DJ Rogers during a game Dec. 29.

The Unity Christian Lions head back down to Macon with one goal in mind: state championship.

The Lions booked their ticket into the Georgia Association of Private and Parochial Schools Division I-AA Boys Basketball Final Four by upending Citizens Christian Academy 56-54 last Saturday at Tattnall Square Academy. The Lions will return to Macon Friday for the opportunity to play in a state championship.

“This is a huge accomplishment for our program,” Lions head coach Matt Claytor said in an email. “I am blessed to get to coach some extremely talented and hard working kids. They seemed to have figured out how to win tough games at just the right time.”

Unity’s Austin Wilkerson led the way with 16 points, followed by Hudson Hill’s 11.

The Lions led by 13 entering the third quarter, but held off a furious rally by Citizens Christian to book a return trip to Macon.

“Thursday’s game was physically and emotionally draining,” Claytor continued. “Our boys showed their resilience and toughness.”

Claytor expressed admiration for the efforts of senior Drew King, who took four charges during the contest.

“We thought that we would have the opportunity to step up in the gaps and take charges on their best player,” Claytor said. “We said that this could change the game. They may have won the game for us. I wish I were as tough as Drew King.”

Unity Christian travels back to Macon and battles Valor Christian School with a state championship game berth on the line. The two schools will tip off at 4:30 p.m. at Central Fellowship Christian Academy.

“I am so happy for our seniors,” Claytor said. “This group of juniors and seniors have been playing together since middle school. Getting to play together in a final four is a crowning achievement for all that these amazing kids have accomplished.”

The victor will meet the winner of The Habersham School and Arlington Christian School for the state title Saturday at 5 p.m.

Recommended for you