Bulldogs fall in state title game

GACS rallies to upend Beach in Macon

Bulldogs fall in state title game
The Beach Bulldogs lost to GACS 54-44 in the GHSA Class AAA state championship Thursday in Macon. (Source: WTOC)

MACON, Ga. (WTOC) - Beach’s effort to win their second state title in four years came up short in Macon Thursday, as the Bulldogs fell to Greater Atlanta Christian in the championship game.

The Bulldogs led by two entering the fourth quarter, but were outscored 24-12 by the Spartans in the final frame, and lost 54-44.

“They really wanted to win. I really wanted to win with them. I just have to pat them on the back. They had a great year. A state championship is a hell of a feat," Beach interim head coach Matthew Hawthorne says. "A lot of teams didn’t play today. We were one of just a few teams to play today, so I’m happy and proud of them. It was a great season.”

Kaila Rougier paced the Bulldog offense with 20 points, while senior Madison Evans added 11. But no other Bulldog scored in double figures.

Beach shot just 27% from the field on the day, and went 1-16 from the three-point line. The Bulldogs thought they would be able to take advantage of their size, but the Spartans outscored Beach in the paint 20-16.

“We can’t have that. That was our advantage we thought, the post,” Hawthorne says. “We just didn’t come through there.”

The Bulldogs end the season with a 22-10 record. The loss ends a three-year streak of a Chatham County team claiming the Girls’ Class AAA state championship.

The positive for Beach is they lose just three seniors. Rougier, who led the Bulldogs in scoring this season, will lead a group of four returning starters in the 2020-21 season.

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