Milton (Alpharetta, GA) head coach David Boyd says that senior forward Evan Nolte is the only player in the history of Georgia High School boys basketball to start in four consecutive largest classification state championship games. Nolte, who is all set to take his talents to Charlottesville, vividly recalls stepping onto the court in the Class 5A state title game four years ago as a freshman.
“I remember we went against (current N.C. State junior power forward) Richard Howell. It was me and (current Georgia Tech freshman forward) Julian (Royal). I was a freshman and Julian was a sophomore, and we were starting against [Howell] and Ari Stewart . Both of those guys were big-time seniors. And we were going against Wheeler, which were all just men. I sort of remember when I was little going to the state championship game and going into the coaches box. I remember watching Al-Farouq Aminu play. I was like, ‘Wow. This is the biggest stage ever.’ And here I was in the game. It was pretty exciting.”
Milton fell short in the 2009 title game before capturing the championship crown in 2010. In 2011, Norcross overcame a 14-point halftime deficit to defeat the Eagles 59-55. In this year’s 5A championship, Savannah erased a 12-point deficit to take the lead by two in the fourth quarter. Trailing 53-51 with six minutes remaining, Milton outscored Savannah 28-14 the rest of the way to claim a 79-67 win. Nolte scored 16 points in his final game as an Eagle.
“I was in foul trouble, actually,” Nolte said, discussing the 2012 state championship. “It was killing me because I was on the bench for most of the third quarter. Last year the other team came back and won. We were up by double-digits here, but they came back. All I could do was watch. It was like deja vu. When I came back in the game, I just tried to make easy passes. I tried not to make any stupid plays. We ended up winning. It’s a great feeling to end my high school career like that.”
Nolte leaves Milton a much-improved...
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