MILLEDGEVILLE, Ga. — A steal in the waning seconds of Saturday's semifinal game secured Baldwin County High (16-0) a spot in the GHSA AAAA basketball championship game.
A win would be the first championship for the Braves since 1981 and this team is hungry to etch their name in the history books.
Anthony Webb is just in his second year as head coach for the Braves. He's no stranger to title games though. He led Hancock-Central to a state championship in 2008 and a second place finish in 2016. Now he's looking to take the Braves to the promise land in year two.
"It's a testament to how hard it is to get to this point," Webb said. "The ultimate goal for every team in the state is to win a state championship and to try to get this team back to those glory days has been fulfilling."
Though Webb may be relatively new to Baldwin, the team's chemistry began long before his arrival.
"We've all been together since we were little, so we all know what to do," senior William Freeman said.
"The kids have been playing together for a long time, even the guys that are on the bench. Even though they might not have been playing with those guys early on, they go to the rec and play together, so they know each other's games," Webb said.
The Braves admit, it's been a strange year. They've only played 16 games this year, nearly half of a normal season because of COVID-19 cancellations and postponements.
"It was harder knowing that we couldn't play the amount of games that we should have played. The games were very spaced out, so we weren't getting as much playing time as we should, but it was harder than a regular season," sophomore Jacobi Nixon said.
The lack of games could play in the Braves favor. With so few games, they could have fresh legs going into Wednesday's championship game against Fayette County (18-11).
"I believe we should be in way better shape. We haven't had any injuries and stuff, so we have time to recover," Freeman said.
Baldwin could do what few teams have done. Not only could they win a championship, but they could also go undefeated. A perfect 17-0 record is on the line in Macon Wednesday night.
"It'll add that punctuation to win a state championship and go undefeated, that's pretty good," Nixon said.
"It doesn't really feel like we're undefeated. It seems like the season has been dragging on and on. But to put that exclamation point on that, it would be fantastic. That's something I've never experienced before," Webb said.
Tip-off against Fayette County is set for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday night.