The East Hall basketball programs temporarily moved their home from Valhalla to Macon in March. The Vikings’ squads came one game short of making the entire state theirs.
The East Hall girls basketball team won the Class AAA state championship on March 11, ending a 27-year title drought by beating Franklin County 57-50.
The Vikings boys team fell one game shy of completing the sweep, falling to Jordan 65-53 on the same day.
"God must be a Viking," East Hall fan Marcel Benton said.
The Lady Vikings went 31-1 in the 2006-2007 season, ending the year on a 13-game winning streak. They set a new school record for wins in a season, three more than the last state championship team in 1979.
Junior center Sada Wheeler led the team with 17 points, seven rebounds and five blocked shots. In two games at the Macon Coliseum, she scored 38 points and pulled down 13 rebounds.
"She’s getting better and better," East Hall coach Allen Pritchett said. "I’m real proud of our seniors, too.
"I couldn’t have asked for more from the way they responded."
The East Hall boys team had a magical run through the playoffs, but the magic ran out once they reached the finals.
The Vikings beat top-ranked Dunwoody in the state quarterfinals and West Laurens in the semifinals. Both of those wins came in overtime.
East Hall’s 24-game winning streak was snapped, however, in the final game of the year: the state championship.
"We knew Jordan was going to be good, so this is no surprise," then-junior Ken Wise said.
The seniors on East Hall’s squad went to at least the state semifinals all four years of their high school careers. They also won a state title as sophomores.
"They told me after the game they were sorry because they let me down," East Hall coach Joe Dix said. "And I told them they didn’t let me down. They are a great group of kids and so selfless. ... It hurts now to lose, but they’ll realize what all they accomplished soon enough."