Lakeland, FL---The Holmes Blue Devils are into the boy's state championship game for the first time in school history. Coach Poe White and his team beating top ranked Hawthorne in their 1A state semifinal Tuesday 51-48.
The Blue Devils taking their winning streak to 8 as they continue a late season run that's included wins over 1A powers Chipley and Malone and now Hawthorne, which came in 28-1.
Holmes getting a triple-double from the McDonald's All American center Chris Walker. The Florida signee with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 13 blocks. Jacky Miles added 12 points, Kolton Russ with 8.
Holmes led the game at halftime 25-16, but saw that lead cut to just two by end of the third quarter. They rebuilt the lead to 12 though with just under three minutes to play, despite Walker spending some time on the bench with 4 fouls.
Hawthorne refused to go quietly though, rallying with a 14-3 run capped by Bryson Pittman's three pointer with just 11 seconds to play which pulled the Hornet within one point at 49-48.
Hawthorne though fouled Williams after the inbounds play and he calmly nailed both free throws. The Hornets unable to get off a good shot to try and tie it, and Holmes had the 3 point win, and it's first berth in a state title game.
They'll take on another Panhandle team West Gadsden which won it's semifinal 76-51 over Union in the earlier game Tuesday. After his team's win, Holmes coach Poe White talked about the match up with the Panthers.
"They're a very athletic team, their bench is deep. The defend well, they press the ball well, we're gonna have to come with our "A" game tomorrow if we're gonna have a chance. We're gonna have to have everybody on board, the bench, the guys on the court. The head coach, the assistant coaches, we all are going to have our best game come tomorrow."
That game at 4:35 eastern Wednesday at the Lakeland Center.