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Boyd sets record with Milton victory

DULUTH -- David Boyd was honored at halftime of the Class AAAAA boys championship game Friday night as one of Georgia's winningest coaches.

Less than an hour later, he was making history in the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Boyd became the first coach to win Georgia High School Association basketball titles at four different schools as Milton claimed the AAAAA boys championship with a 56-46 victory over Westlake.

It was the fifth state title for Boyd, who won back-to-back championships at Berkmar (2000 and 2001) after one each at Campbell (1982) and Tucker (1996). He has 516 career victories.

"It's a great feeling," Boyd said of winning another state championship. "It means a lot.

"I've coached a long time and I've been fortunate to have a lot of good players. You can't win without talent."

Dai-Jon Parker had 19 points for Milton (31-2) against Westlake. Julian Royal scored 15 and Evan Nolte added 14.

Westlake (30-3) played all except the first minute of the game without leading scorer Marcus Thornton. The Clemson signee turned an ankle during player introductions and left the game for good after scoring Westlake's first basket. Thornton had 24 points and 15 rebounds in the Lions' overtime victory over Central Gwinnett in the semifinals.

It was the second time that things went Milton's way in the Eagles' march to their first state championship.

Milton defeated Norcross 53-52 in the quarterfinals on free throws by Royal after a controversial foul was called just before time expired.

The Eagles, who lost to Wheeler in the Class AAAAA title game a year ago, took charge against Westlake with a 9-2 run at the end of the third quarter that increased the lead to 44-34.

Down 17-11 at the end of the first quarter, Westlake had cut the deficit to 28-26 at intermission thanks to nine points from Nkosi Ali. Nolte and Royal each had nine first-half points for Milton, and then Parker took over in the third quarter.

Ali finished with 12 points for Westlake, which won state championships in 1999 and 2002. Jeff Newberry scored 10 for the Lions.