The Macon East varsity boys’ basketball season was nothing short of a fairy tale. Their 33-0 perfect season was flawless as was their teamwork and devotion to the goal of a state title. After joining the Knights basketball program in 2015, Coach Larry Chapman has made every effort to build a championship team, and players from area schools and Birmingham transferred to play under his leadership. Coaches Chapman and (Lincoln) Glass set out this year to become a more defensive-minded program that no offense could penetrate, and they succeeded beating the majority of their opponents by an average 38.9 point margin. After playing in several tournaments this season and taking home the trophy from them all, only one trophy was still up for grabs. Heading into the Elite 8 as Region Champions, the Knights eliminated South Choctaw with ease with Artavious Billups leading the charge with 30 points followed by Slate Garmany (14), Christian Lewis (13), and Kyle Edwards (12). The Final Four matchup with Pickens Academy was a 63-29 victory led by Garmany with 28 points and Billups with 18. As predicted, Macon East would face Autauga Academy for a third time in the championship game. It all came down to this game, would the Knights continue on their streak or end this season like the last with a disappointing repeat runner-up trophy? At the end of the first quarter with the Knights up 27-2 over the Generals, it became apparent that Macon East, now called one of the most successful teams in AISA history, would take home the coveted state title. By halftime with the score at 37-8, the excitement was building among the Knight fans and the bench. This team would be the school’s first since 1973’s Macon Academy team to win a state championship in basketball. As time ticked off the clock the coaches cleared the bench, and the starting line-up cheered for their teammates to finish what they started on the court. Once again Artavious Billups and Kyle Edwards led the scoring with 19 each and 13 points from Slate Garmany. These three would be named as members of the all-tournament team with Billups selected as tournament MVP. The three senior starters (Artavious Billups, Slate Garmany, and Christian Lewis) will go on to represent Macon East in the AISA All-Star game on February 17 at Huntingdon College. Seven seniors top the roster for this year’s team, but only one was given the honor of grabbing the trophy. Channy Blackwell, sidelined since football season with an ACL injury fought back to play basketball this season and live out his team’s dream of a state title. Making appearances in just a few games, it became apparent that the injury was not fully recovered, so instead he became a fourth coach to his teammates and chief encourager. Like Channy, we all had tears in our eyes as he took the trophy back to his team. These boys are now like brothers, and each of them will tell you that this season, this team with one dream, is one they will never forget.