Last-second shot sends Fannin County girls back to state finals

Blue Ridge is still buzzing about Saturday night's unbelievable basketball finish. The Fannin County High School girls won a close game against Butler High School in the Class 2A state semifinals, using a last-second layup to pull out a two-point victory.

"We're going back to the state championship for the first time since 2004," said Fannin County head coach Ryan Chastain. "It's been a crazy ride."

The final play was one straight out of a movie. Butler had the ball with time winding down and a chance for a game-winning shot. Soon after crossing midcourt, a Rebels player stole the ball, then made a leaping pass down the court for a layup to win the game.

"I just couldn't believe it was real, you know what I mean," said Chastain. "The girls immediately came together out there on the floor and started hugging each other. 

The Fannin County girls basketball team has two state championships in their history, and always enjoys strong support. That's amplified this year during their current 17-game win streak, having not lost a game since the calendar flipped to 2021.

"Our community support, I can't put it into words how awesome it's been," said Chastain. "It's all for the kids. They're small-town rock stars, you know what I mean? We had our rec district champions in a couple weeks ago, and I heard one of them ask one of [our players] for their autograph. It's just small-town fun, you know?"

Fannin County takes on Josey High School out of Augusta in the Class 2A state championship. The game will be held Thursday at 12 p.m. at the Macon Coliseum.