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STATE CHAMPIONSHIP NOTEBOOK: Randolph-Clay coach Acree drinks sweet tea from championship cup

After falling in the state championship game last season, Randolph-Clay coach Jennifer Acree said winning this year’s title is sweet

Randolph-Clay coach Jennifer Acree lifts the Class A state championship trophy toward the Lady Red Devils’ crowd after beating Mitchell County in Thursday’s championship game. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)

Randolph-Clay coach Jennifer Acree lifts the Class A state championship trophy toward the Lady Red Devils’ crowd after beating Mitchell County in Thursday’s championship game. (Staff Photo: John Millikan)

MACON — Randolph-Clay girls basketball coach Jennifer Acree considers herself an avid sweet tea connoisseur.

With the Lady Red Devils staying in Macon again Thursday night and going out to eat after claiming the Class A girls public school state championship against Mitchell County, Acree said she couldn’t wait to drink some sweet tea from the state championship cup trophy.

Her tea, she said, will likely be just a little bit sweeter.

“We’re on our way to a restaurant,” Acree said. “I’ve got to make sure (the trophy cup) doesn’t leak.”

One has to forgive Acree if she seemed excited. After last season’s fiasco, one where her team brought the wrong color uniforms and had to borrow jerseys from nearby Jones County High School just to play in the championship game, Thursday’s victory was a sweet ending.

She said she was constantly reminded throughout the year from fans about the uniform mixup she had with the GHSA in last year’s championship. She said she was the brunt of jokes and often criticized.

“This is too sweet, and I’m very happy about it,” guard Shanise Jackson said. “We got what we wanted. We played our hearts out for four quarters.”

BUIE CONFIDENT: Randolph-Clay star guard Brandi Buie said she felt confident her team was on its way to a victory after Jackson connected with a 3-pointer to push the Lady Red Devils’ lead to 44-26 with 4:51 left.

“That was a good shot,” Buie said of Jackson’s jumper. “That was a way to step up.”

MUCH MADE OF FREE THROWS: After Mitchell County vowed to shoot better from the free throw line, especially after they missed a chance to beat Randolph-Clay in regulation of the Region 1-A championship game on Feb. 15, the Lady Eagles did just that.

They finished by sinking 67 percent (16 of 24), including 14 of 20 in the second half.

THIS AND THAT: Randolph-Clay finished with more turnovers (15) than Mitchell County (12). … Mitchell County is normally an excellent 3-point shooting team. On Thursday, the Lady Eagles shot just 1-of-4. The lone make came from A’Miracle Jones. … The state championship game marked the final game for four Mitchell County seniors — Deaundra Hill, Jones, Shonbreka Holton and Aaliyah Childs. Buie and Jackson played in their last game as Randolph-Clay seniors.