Nelson Phillips played about as complete a game as he could play. The Warner Robins senior scored 32 points, plus was a significance presence in the paint on both ends, while helping to lead the Demons to a 77-57 win over Clarke Central in the GHSA Class AAAAA Final Four Saturday at Fort Valley State University.
Warner Robins will play Miller Grove in the finals Thursday at 8 p.m. in the Macon Centreplex.
The game started was close through one. Jaydon Norman, who finished with 12, got the Demons on board first.
Dwon Smith, who led the Gladiators with 15 – eight of those coming in the first quarter and four treys part of his overall scoring – put Clarke Central on top with one of those aforementioned 3-pointers.
Jam’l Dillard in turn answered that from the field to make it 4-3. Quamontae Monfort made the next basket to put the Gladiators back on top – for the last time. Monfort came in averaging 19 but was held to four – what appeared to be a hand injury might have hampered him, but Head Coach Jamaal Garman said after the game that shutting down/limiting him was one part of the overall game plan on defense.
Dillard gave Warner Robins the lead back with a field goal.
Champ Dawson’s free throw made it 7-5 and Phillips made it 9-5. Smith cut it to a point with a trey but Bobby Kelly’s two trips to the free-throw line in which he connected on all four eventually gave the Demons a 15-12 lead, which is where it stood after a quarter.
Phillips with a put-back made it 17-12 and Jacolbey Owens getting his first two made it 19-12. A basket cut it by two, but then Norman went to the line once and Phillips three times over the course of the next minute or so. Norman made both. Phillips made six out of seven. He also followed that up with a trey and went to the line again where he again made both. That gave Warner Robins a 33-20 lead with just over a minute left in the half.
It was 38-23 at the buzzer.
The Demons got it up to as high as 21 in the third quarter, 55-34. It was 55-36 heading into the final frame.
Clark Central did chip away at the lead at one point, even getting it down to nine, 61-52. But Warner Robins, which might have slowed its game down to run off some of the clock, answered when challenged. It pushed it back to 14, which pretty much took what was left of the fight out of Clark Central.
To relive the the action and hear Tom Mobley’s call of the action please visit the Houston Healthcare “Replays” tab by clicking here: Demons Vs. Clarke Central