LAKELAND, FL -- Chipley sophomore forward Trent Forrest has been one of the state's most dominant players this season. But, Forrest was forced to watch Wednesday's Class 1A State Semifinal from the bench as Hamilton County routed the Tigers 85-48.
Forrest and teammates Brad Hall and Sagar Patel were suspended on Tuesday night for a violation of team rules. Without those players, Hamilton County jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a semifinal win.
With the victory, Hamilton County advanced to the Class 1A State Championship Game against Malone on Thursday at 11:05 at the Lakeland Civic Center. Chipley ends the year with a 27-3 record.
Kevin McClain scored 24 points to lead Hamilton County, while Antefernee Smith chipped in 15 points. Hamilton County also dominated the glass, outrebounding Chipley 59-35.
Tyrome Sharp led Chipley with 17 points.
Malone - 67 Chiefland - 59
Malone held off a furious Chielfand rally in the fourth quarter, beating the Indians 67-59. With the win, Malone advanced to face Chiefland for the Class 1A State Title on Thursday.
Antwain Johnson had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead Malone. Alonze Bailey also scored 18 points, while Oregon State signee Chai Baker added 17 points and Chancellor Lockett chipped in 11 points.
Malone appeared to be in complete control, leading by 17 points entering the fourth quarter. But Chiefland rallied with 22 points in the final period, pulling within single digits before the Tigers finally hung on the for the win.
Kyle Weeks led Chiefland with 22 points.