Wesleyan's Griffin Schamp (11) takes a shot over Wilcox's Lonnie Outlaw (44) during the second half of Wednesday's Class A state semifinal game in Macon. Schamp finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
MACON -- Wilcox County ended Wesleyan's hopes of winning back-to-back Class A state football championships, knocking off the Wolves in the quarterfinals last fall en route to winning the title itself.
On Wednesday night, Wesleyan got its revenge.
Wilcox had been hoping to pull off the rare feat of winning football and basketball state championships in the same school year. Instead, it will be Wesleyan taking on Whitefield Academy for the title at 12:45 p.m. Saturday in the Macon Centreplex.
The Wolves, who fell to a No. 4 seed with two losses in the Region 7-A tournament, continued their surprising state tournament run with a 71-51 victory over the Patriots.
Griffin Schamp, a reserve when Wesleyan won the Class AA state title in 2008, had 23 points and 10 rebounds as the Wolves improved to 25-4. Andrew Frerking and Ty Teague each scored 14 points.
After Wilcox won the state football title with a victory over Savannah Christian at the Georgia Dome last December, two-sport star Nick Marshall was already thinking about basketball.
"We want to get another ring," the junior said. "I think we can."
Wesleyan had other ideas, dashing the Patriots' hopes in empathic fashion.
By the time Marshall, who had 18 points, fouled out on a technical midway through the fourth quarter, Wesleyan had the victory well in hand.
Wesleyan took charge in the third quarter, outscoring Wilcox 19-8 to take a 51-39 lead. Frerking, held scoreless in the first half, hit twice from behind the 3-point arc and had eight points in the quarter.
Wilcox County (26-3) lost only one starter from last year's Final Four team, which lost to eventual champion Whitefield Academy in the semifinals. So there was reason for the Patriots to have high expectations.
Marshall dunked off a steal 10 seconds into the game and Wilcox led 18-9 early in the second quarter. Then Wesleyan got going.
The Wolves took their first lead at 27-24 on Teague's second 3-pointer and were up 30-29 at halftime.
Teague had eight points in the second quarter, while Schamp had seven and Wes Caver six. Marshall had 10 points at halftime for Wilcox, with three of his four field goals dunks.
Whitefield Academy, which defeated Turner County for the championship last year, advanced to the title game again with a 72-68 overtime victory over Terrell County.
No. 2-ranked Whitefield (28-3) is a regular in the Final Four, making it every time except once in the past eight years. The Wolfpack won the championship in 2003 as well as last season and were runners-up in 2004, 2006 and 2007.
Kennard Backman scored 25 points for Whitefield, while Kenneth Gaines had 18 and Tekel Cotton contributed 15.
Alre'k Brown had 25 points and eight blocked shots for Terrell County (24-6). The No. 8-ranked Greenwave knocked off top-ranked Wilkinson County in the quarterfinals.
After Whitefield eliminated Terrrell County, Wolfpack fans chanted, "We want Wilcox."
Instead, it will be Wesleyan that Whitefield has to face Saturday.