DAWSON -- Randolph-Clay is back in the state playoffs -- and not a moment too soon.
The Red Devils, absent from the GHSA state tournament since 2005, qualified for the big dance Thursday with a 63-61 win against Seminole County in the quarters of the Region 1-A boys tournament.
Their return to the big dance, however, wasn't a thing of beauty.
Randolph-Clay (17-7) trailed for much of the third and fourth quarters to the Indians, who they had beaten by 15 back in December.
"We'll take the win," R-C head coach Oglesby Jackson said. "It was ugly the entire game, but we live to fight another day."
The last time the Red Devils made it to state in '05, they won the whole shebang. On Thursday, they needed 17 points from big man Tim Stringer-Davis and a big second half from Alkawan Sullivan to rally late against Seminole (14-12).
"I couldn't ask the kids to do any more than what they did," Indians head coach Kevin Godwin said. "We had a great chance to win it, but we didn't make the plays. Our kids were confident. It's a tremendous disappointment."
Sullivan scored 10 of his 16 points in the second half. Stringer-Davis hit on a big three-point play with 55 seconds left to give R-C a 61-59 lead and he and Sullivan made free throws down the stretch to hold off Seminole star Kerry Chrispen.
Chrispen hit three second-half treys to keep the Indians alive and finished with a game-high 23 points. He was the only Seminole player in double digits.
"He had a big ballgame," Godwin said of Chrispen. "He kind of toted us as he has all year. I hate to see that guy go."
Godwin loses four of five starters in Crispen, Hank Rambo, Nate George and Vonte Bullard.
The Red Devils had double-figure scoring from Shaq Nunnally, who fouled out but still finished with 12, and Malcolm Jones, who netted 11. R-C advances to the region semifinals today at Terrell County, where they will play Calhoun County at 5:30 p.m.
TERRELL COUNTY 76 BOYS, MILLER COUNTY 44:
The Greenwave starters may be a little rusty after taking most of the night off Thursday in a rout of Miller County to advance to the semifinals of the Region 1-A tournament at home.
Terrell County (21-3), the top seed from subregion 1B-A, scored 30 points in the second quarter and rolled to a 49-29 halftime lead, playing mostly reserves for part of the third and all of the fourth quarters.
Terrell County head coach John Davis is banking on another run at the region title.
"I'm kind of glad I played everybody because we've got at least two more games this week," Davis said, foreseeing today's semifinal against Pelham at 8:30 p.m. and Saturday's region championship game. "That will be a plus for us."
The Greenwave starters, which hit 6-of-13 from 3-point land in less than three quarters, don't expect to have to shake off the rust.
"No. We're going to come ready to play," said senior Brian Browner.
None of the Terrell County seniors have lost a region title in their four years in Dawson. They don't even want to think about it happening.
"We don't want to talk about that," said junior Dekoven Ware, who scored 16 points and had nine boards.
Terel Hall led the way with 18 points and four steals. Charles Brown had 13 and six boards.
The Greenwave hassled Miller County double-double machine Juwan Jones, who was limited to just 10 points and five rebounds. Makel Price scored eight for the Pirates.
CALHOUN COUNTY BOYS 81, MITCHELL COUNTY 66:
Calhoun pulled the stunner of the night, upending No. 1 seed Mitchell County from subregion 1A-A in handily fashion.
After stumbling in the middle of the season during a tough region stretch, the Cougars (13-9) rebounded nicely at the right time.
"We went through a tough time, but the main thing was we tried to keep our confidence," Calhoun head coach Marcus Shaw said.
Mitchell had beaten Calhoun by 22 points before Christmas.
Vincent Powell led the Cougars with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Marquez Williams scored 15. Stacey Butler, Jr. scored 19 to lead Mitchell County, which ends its season at 16-7. Rueben Jackson scored 13 in the loss.
Calhoun will play Randolph-Clay in the region semifinals at 5:30 p.m. today. The winner advances to play the Pelham-Terrell winner for the region title.
PELHAM BOYS 51, STEWART COUNTY 40:
Pelham was led by Raymondo Armstrong's 13 points and moves on to face Terrell County at 8:30 p.m. in the Region 1-A tournament semis. MyGail Hill added 11 points in the win.
The Hornets led the entire way and were the only team from subregion 1A-A to win in the region tourney.
Aario Johnson led Stewart County with 12 points.