ALBANY -- It's really very simple: Green means go -- especially if it's your coach's idea.
Freshman Joshua Lewis knocked down a 3-pointer with 51 seconds remaining to lift Dougherty into just its second lead of the game and cap a late Trojan rally for a wild 79-72 Region 1-AAA win against Perry on Friday night.
Dougherty trailed, 72-70, when a Semori Allen's steal set up Lewis' fourth 3-pointer of the game. Arabian Williams then hit six consecutive free throws in the waning seconds to ice the win.
"Coach (Donald Poole) gave me the green light," Lewis said after Dougherty improved to 6-7 and 5-2 in region play. "I had to make that shot. I had to make it for my team. That was the biggest shot I have ever made."
Lewis wasn't the only hero.
Williams led all scorers with 32 points, 22 coming in the fourth quarter. Fourteen of the 22 came at the free-throw line on 19 attempts. After being held to just 10 points through three quarters, the Herald Super 6er took over in the final period, forcing the ball inside against the taller Panthers.
"We weren't having much fun before the fourth quarter," Williams said. "Coach told me that I was the leader and had to put the game on my back. He told us to keep smiling and keep playing hard. It worked."
There was never any doubt in Poole's mind who he wanted to take that long range shot.
"Oh, yeah, he had the green light," Poole said. "He had the hot hand and we were going to live or die with it."
The first period gave little indication as the what was in store later. The Panthers' Tyler Kendrick scored 10 of his team-high 31 points to push Perry (11-7 and 4-4) into a 24-14 lead. Kendrick remained hot, scoring nine points as Perry led 39-35 at the half.
The Trojans then went to a zone in the third, slowing the game down and Joshua Christian's trey at the period buzzer cut Perry's lead to 49-47 heading into the final 8 minutes.
The Trojans kept it close the rest of the way, but could pull no closer than two points until Lewis' shot in the final seconds.
Dougherty will visit Albany tonight while Perry goes on the road at Peach County.
DOUGHERTY GIRLS 65, PERRY 51:
Dougherty committed 33 turnovers and Perry shot 48 freet hrows but the Lady Trojans survived to claim a sloppy win over Perry.
Tiara Todd scored a game high 20 points and had seven steals as Dougherty improved to 8-6 overall and 5-3 in region play. The Lady Trojans led from the tip until the final buzzer.
"Thirty-three turnovers is about our average," Todd said, smiling. "We played a little better defense in the second half and things worked out for us."
After a slim lead at halftime, the Lady Trojans -- sparked by four steals and buckets by Todd -- ripped off a 21-2 run in the first five minutes to take a commanding 52-29 lead with 1:05 to go in the period.
Jessica Roberts added 15 points on five three-pointers, and Jasmine Lavant added 14.