Host Towns County boys win Battle of the States; Rabun boys and girls fall in finals

In what is arguably one of the best local Christmas/New Years tournaments held every year, the Battle of the States in Hiawassee didn’t disappoint. The host team saw their boys team take a win over Rabun County, while the Murphy (NC) girls won over Rabun on the girls side.

Rabun’s boys came in ranked inside the top 10 in nearly every state poll, and was riding a 10-game win streak. The Towns County boys, while coming in as defending state champs, were also the reigning champs of the Battle of the States tournament.

Sophomore Zane Floyd’s second quarter offensive explosion help get Towns County out to an early lead. Senior Kyle Oakes also helped build the first half lead for the Indians. Towns held the lead for almost the whole game. However, the Wildcats mounted a fourth quarter comeback and tied the game with a 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Towns County senior Collin Crowder, who leads Towns in scoring with 25.7 points per game, took the ball down and hit a shot to give Towns a 63-61 lead with 3 seconds left. Rabun’s last heave fell short as Towns held on to grab their second consecutive Battle of the States title. Conner McKay led the Wildcats in scoring with a 27-point effort, while Grayson Carver had 15 points on 5 3-pointers. Kyle Oakes and Zayne Floyd led the Indians with 21 and 19 points, respectively. Floyd drained 4 triples. On top of hitting the championship-clinching bucket, Crowder finished the game with 15 points and was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

On the girls side, Murphy defeated Rabun County by a slim 5 point, 54-49. Murphy was led by Torin Rodgers, while Rabun County seniors Carley Haban (18 pts, 5 reb, 3 stl), Gracie Deetz (15 pts, 7 reb, 2 blk), and Sophie Woodard (10 pts) led the way.

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