Kendrick Wins...Lady Cherokees Are State Champs
March 11, 2014Kendrick High School
Kendrick High seniors Kahlia Lawrence and Deja Cheatham stood in the tunnel after their Class AA state championship game against Wesleyan on Friday, barely able to contain their emotion.
This time, they were tears of joy.
The Lady Cherokees completed a perfect season with a 69-58 victory over Wesleyan at the Macon Centreplex, winning their first state championship since 2008 and second overall. It was only the second girls title for the city of Columbus and snapped a streak of six consecutive state championships for the Lady Wolves, who had won 10 of 12 going into the contest.
"This is what we've worked so hard for," said Lawrence, a wide grin plastered across her face. “We made it.”
Lawrence, the unquestioned leader and most valuable player for Kendrick, was a big reason why, scoring 25 points to cap off a career in which she set Kendrick’s all-time scoring record and three single-season scoring records.
She scored 10 points in a crucial third period on Friday, turning a 32-29 halftime deficit into a 47-44 lead going into the fourth. In the first half, she got into foul trouble and drew the ire of coach Sterling Hicks for passing up a couple scoring opportunities.
“He told me to do what I had to do,” Lawrence said of Hicks’ instruction. “He told me to come out and be aggressive.”
Hicks noted later that Lawrence had generously paraphrased his words.
“I’m not sure I can repeat what I told her,”
This is Coach Hicks second State Championship for Kendrick High School.