The GHSA boys and girls basketball finals tip off Thursday, and one half of the Class A Public matchup is Wilcox County. The Patriots return to the championship game for the first time since 1968.
It's their first return to the postseason since 2011. Under the direction of George Kennedy, the boys team had to forfeit a playoff appearance during last years playoffs per the county superintendent for several player rules violations.
This year the scrappy bunch from Rochelle are making up for lost time with a 23-4 overall record, including a win last Friday night over Portal in the final four hosted at Fort Valley State.
Just down the road over in Class AA, Bleckley County has landed a spot in the finals Friday night. Coach Clifford Kerbo's Royals are 28-3 this season. Heralded by 8 seniors, the purple and gold boasted a 20 game winning streak during the year.
After road playoff wins versus Westside-Augusta, Vidalia and more recently Jordan at a final four neutral site, Kerbo is looking forward to one more win.
Wilcox and Wilkinson county will tip things off Thursday at 4:45.
Bleckley goes for the title versus Greater Atlanta Christian, Friday at 4:45 but will host a pep rally for the players Thursday at Royals gym starting at 6 o'clock.