ANALYSIS & HIGHLIGHTS: No. 7 Warner Robins 83, No. 2 Central-Macon 62

December 21, 2016– Two of Middle Georgia’s top teams took center stage on Wednesday night in Jones County, Ga. in the State Bank Classic Holiday Tourney Championship Game. GHSA Class 5A No.7 ranked Warner Robins faced off against the Class 3A No.2 ranked Central-Macon. The Chargers entered the game undefeated riding the back of super senior Antarius McCoy, while the Demons brought their eight game winning streak along with them, led by juniors Nelson Phillips and Jacolbey Owens. Fans started to fill the stands around 8:30p.m. to get an early season glimpse of state championship contenders.

First Quarter

From the tip it was clear that Warner Robins was on a mission. The pesky Demons jumped all over the Chargers defensively leading to easy layups out in transition. Their rotation and communication on the defensive end really disrupted Central’s offensive flow. They jumped out to a 10-2 lead with 3:28 remaining in the first quarter, which forced Central Coach, Andre Taylor to call a timeout to regroup his team. Coming out of the timeout, the Chargers settled in a bit scoring back-to-back baskets cutting the lead to 10-6, but the Demons finished the quarter strong on a six to two run to take a 16-8 lead after one quarter of play.


Second Quarter

In the second quarter, Warner Robins continued to impose their will on Central defensively. In addition, tough nosed forwards, 6-foot-5 Jam’l Dillard and 6-foot-3 Jaydon Norman took control on the offensive and defensive boards. However, nationally ranked 3-star stud Nelson Phillips came to life in the quarter and began to single-handedly dismantle the Chargers. The talented combo guard applied defensive pressure on the perimeter and used his nifty ball handling skills, sweet shooting stroke, and athleticism on the offensive end to overwhelm Central. But Antarius McCoy would not go away quietly, the 6-foot-3 senior scored 10 of his game high 33 points in the second quarter and tried to keep Central within striking distance. With 1:19 remaining McCoy knocked down a contested 3-pointer to cut the lead to 32-23. In the ensuing moments, Warner Robins proceeded to go on a mini five to two run to close the half. The aforementioned Phillips ignited the crowd with a thunderous dunk with 39.2 seconds left, which pushed the lead to 35-25. The Demons took a 37-25 lead to the locker room at the end of the second quarter.

Third Quarter

Warner Robins kept their feet on the pedal to begin the second half. Nelson Phillips picked up where he left off hitting a deep corner 3-pointer to extend the lead to 40-25 with 7:12 left on the clock and seemingly snatched the fight out of the Chargers. Also, Jalen Dawson did a nice job running the show in the third quarter. The 6-foot-2 transfer set up teammates for easy buckets and played solid defense.

On the other side, not much was going well for Central other than McCoy trying to rally his troops with some occasional put backs and 3-point buckets. The Demons extended their 37-25 halftime lead to 60-43 at the end of the third quarter.

Fourth Quarter

At the beginning of the quarter, 7:34 mark, Phillips knocked down yet another deep 3-point basket to extend the lead to 63-43 and left little doubt on who was going to be the MVP of the State Bank Holiday Classic Tournament. Jacolbey Owens also got into the action with a breakaway dunk about midway through the quarter, which put an exclamation point on Warner Robins’ convincing victory over the Chargers. Following Owens’ dunk, both coaches cleared their benches to run out the remaining 2:39 left in the game. In the end, the Class AAAAA No.7 ranked Demons were too much for the undefeated Class AAA No.2 ranked Chargers.


What we Learned
Nelson Phillips- 2016 State Bank Classic MVP

Warner Robins The Demons are a true state championship contender in Class 5A. After letting a game slip away on December 2, 2016 to Perry, the Demons have had a chip on their shoulders and have been out to show the state that they are for real. Nelson Phillips is the REAL DEAL! He is a HM D-1 caliber player and made his case to be considered the state of Georgia’s No.1 combo guard in the 2018 class, and Jacolbey Owens is a very talented mid-major caliber point guard that compliments Phillips very well. However, Jalen Dawson’s play as the third wheel will be key for Warner Robins moving forward. Whenever Dawson scores between 10 to 13 points, the Demons win convincingly. Also, the Demons are bit undersized inside, but their athleticism and physicality more than makes up for their lack of  size on the interior.

After making a Championship appearance in 2013-14 and a final four appearance in 2014-15, expect Warner Robins to make another deep playoff run this season under the leadership of one of the best young coaches in the state, Jamal Garman.




McCoy dunks in State Bank Classic Championship Game

Central-MaconThe Chargers are a scrappy bunch. However, their lack of a true sidekick to go alongside dynamic senior Antarius McCoy may end up being their achilles heel. The Chargers will still be a team to be reckoned with in the Class AAA division, but their postseason success is hard to call right now.

Central is well coached and are already overachievers based on the devastating personnel losses suffered during the offseason, but the Chargers accepted the challenge and are one of the early surprise teams in the GHSA. They have defeated the Class AAA No.1 Westside-Macon and Class AAAA No.4 Eastside respectively. Further, McCoy (26.3ppg 11.7rpg) is clearly one of the BEST prep players in the mid-state area that nobody talks about. He is going to be an absolute steal for whatever college takes a chance on him, STUD!

Top Performers


Nelson Phillips 30pts. 4stls. 3blks.

Jalen Dawson 13pts. 5asts. 3rebs.

Jacolbey Owens 12pts. 4asts.

Jam’l Dillard 6pts. 9rebs.


Antarius McCoy 33pts. 11rebs.

Duke Williams 9pts.