Marist wins state to get 30 wins

Marist School defeated North Forsyth 67-48 to win Georgia High School Association’s 6A Girls’ Basketball State Championship on March 8 in Macon.

The win gave Marist its second state title in girls’ basketball and a county leading 30 wins.

“This is incredible… incredible,” said Marist head coach Kim Hixon. “We thought we could do it; we thought we had a chance. To bring this home is incredible.”

Sophomore guard Katie Harpring didn’t miss a stride after scoring 45 points in Marist’s semifinal game, leading all scorers in the title game with 27 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. Harpring hit those marks without playing for the final 2:29 of the game.

After the game, Hixon commended Harpring’s ability to do anything Marist needs to win.

“It wasn’t 45 points, but she is incredible. Fouling out, playing with fouls, she really showed some maturity,” said Hixon. “All year we’ve been expecting to face someone who is going to make someone else step up. Sometimes she’s better without the basketball in her hands. She was good with it too, but she made everyone else so much better tonight.”

Katie Harpring gets a layup for two of her 27 points in the state title game.

Marist’s second-leading scorer was a contributor from the previous state title game, with senior Hannah Faklaris adding 16 points on eight-of-nine shooting against North Forsyth. Abby Lindsay—another senior—was the only other Marist athlete in double figures with 13 points.

“The seniors have led all year,” added Hixon.

Marist trailed 16-11 with 1:08 left in the first quarter and then went on a 17-2 run before taking a 32-23 lead into halftime.

The Lady War Eagles from Marist never looked back, pushing the nine-point halftime lead to a 16-point lead after the third quarter and winning by 19.

The 19-point win was the 19th double-digit win since Marist began its 22-game winning streak in December. The win also gave Marist an 84-7 record over the past three seasons.

Marist won the state title after winning a Final Four game in overtime against River Ridge, the No. 1 team in Class 6A and the No. 5 team in Georgia. Hixon noted her seniors’ contributions in the championship game and their experience from winning a title two years ago.

“This was intense. Coming off the River Ridge game, it was hard to refocus – I’m not going to lie,” said Hixon. “River Ridge deserves a lot of credit, they’re a great team. The seniors have led us all year. These kids are leaders. They knew how to win it; they were here two years ago.”

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