DONALSONVILLE -- Growing up, Taiwan Donalson's dream was to make a game-winning shot.
He had fulfilled it -- but only in his family's backyard.
The Seminole County High School senior, however, made his dream reality in front of the Indians' home crowd Friday night by scoring on a steal and layup with 5.5 seconds left for a 50-49 win against rival Miller County.
"I've always wanted my chance to do it," Donalson said. "Everybody now keeps calling me and texting me, congratulating me. It's crazy, I love it."
While Miller County held on to a 49-48 lead, Donalson stripped the ball from the Pirates' Cosby Salter and drove the length of the court for the layup. The win was not only the Indians' first in the region this season, but also the first victory against Miller County since the 2007-08 campaign. And in typical rivalry fashion, the Indians' student body raced onto the court, celebrating the win.
"That was very emotional, it's like what you see on TV when you watch college basketball," Donalson said.
Close games have become a trademark for the Indians, who have won all three games this season by one point -- 51-50, against Lee County, and 68-67, against Early County.
Although Seminole County's record is only 3-6 overall and 1-4 in GHSA Region 1A-A, Indians coach Kevin Godwin hopes the circumstances of his team's win Friday will be a turning point.
"It really gives us some confidence now, we play in a tough region and anybody can still win it," he said. "Night in and night out, it's going to be tough."
Friday's game was close throughout, with the Indians leading, 26-22, at halftime. Holding on to a 38-35 lead going into the final quarter, the drama began to build. After Pirates point guard Will Martin scored on a nifty, spinning layup to give his team a 49-48 lead, the pace became more frenetic.
Seminole County turned the ball over with fewer than 30 seconds left and then Donalson took it right back and won the game. Godwin knows Donalson more for his hustle than scoring ability, but the senior came close to reaching double figures with nine points.
It was a complete effort by the Seminole County starters, who accounted for all 50 points as Owen Parks and Javoris Virgin added nine points each, and Terrence Jones had 12, followed by Kerry Chrispen with 11.
Martin, Salter and Zenario Shuler led Miller County (5-7, 3-2) with 12 points each in the loss.