Forest Park girls basketball falls to Woodward Academy in state championship game

Mar 10, 2022 (Please support our local paper.)

MACON — In a rematch of last year’s Class AAAAA state championship, the Forest Park girls basketball team fell to Woodward Academy 72-44 Thursday night at the Macon Coliseum.

“They were better prepared and had more weapons than we had and I think that’s what it really came down to,” Forest Park head coach Steven Cole said.

Woodward led 11-8 at the end of the first quarter.

A minute into the second, Forest Park’s Michayia Davis made a 3-pointer to tie the game at 11-all.

Woodward’s Sara Lewis scored at the 6:30 mark to give her team a 13-11 lead.

Baskets by Aaishah Berry and Yasmine Allen gave Forest Park a 15-13 lead with 5:30 remaining in the second quarter.

Woodward then went on a 23-4 run to take a 38-17 lead into halftime.

Woodward (29-2) led 56-32 going into the final quarter.

“Woodward is a really good team,” Cole said. “They have one of the best players in the state (Sydney Bowles) and a couple more players behind her and they’re a really good team. They’re well-coached and do a good job with their coaching staff also.”

Bowles led Woodward with 19 points.

Allen, a sophomore, led Forest Park with 19 points.

“She gave it everything she had but right now in this game it just wasn’t enough,” Cole said. “I think she’s really good as a 10th grader but she’s still got some work to do and if she puts that work in she’s going to be a D-I recruit or something like that.”

Forest Park (22-7) won the Class AAAAAA state championship in 2020 and lost to Woodward 62-59 in the Class AAAAA finals last year.

“Our season was good; we were one of the last teams standing in 5A,” Cole said “What can you say?”

Forest Park’s run in the state playoffs featured wins over Wayne County (55-20 in first round), Southwest DeKalb (59-32 in second round), Loganville (54-40 in the quarterfinals) and New Manchester (60-38 in the semifinals).