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The St. George’s Independent School boys’ basketball team won their second State Championship in school history with a 68-45 victory over Harding Academy on Saturday night. After both teams found scoring difficult in the first quarter, the Gryphons were able to build a 26-17 halftime lead behind 10 first half points from senior guard Justin Wertner. While Wertner paced St. George’s in the first half, the second half belonged to sophomore guard Chase Hayden. Behind Hayden’s 21 second half points, St. George’s was able to stretch their lead over the course of the final two quarters. The lead once grew to as many as 28 points early in the fourth before concluding with a 68-45 final. After the game, Wertner was named DII-A Mr. Basketball. Hayden was voted tournament MVP. Wertner and sophomore forward Noah Pope joined Hayden on the All-Tournament team. After his first state title since 2010, Coach Jeff Ruffin said, “I could not be more proud of these young men, especially our four seniors that get to go out on top. Our team developed a special bond this season and they were determined to do something special.” The Gryphons finish the season 28-4.

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