Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

DAWSON -- Charles Brown couldn't find the words to describe it, so he did the next best thing.

"Whoooooooooo! Whooooooo!'' he shouted moments after Terrell County had beaten Randolph-Clay, 56-47, to win its fifth Region 1-A title in a row, right there in the Terrell County gym, where it was standing-room only for the much-anticipated showdown.

Randolph-Clay was the only Class A team to beat Terrell County all year -- an overtime win in Cuthbert -- and there had been more talk about the rubber game than anyone wanted to hear.

And if that wasn't enough, the Terrell County kids had dedicated the game to Brian Browner, a senior starter who was out with a knee injury.

Whoooooooo is right.

"There was a lot of emotion,'' Terrell County coach John Davis said. "Because of the loss at their place and because the kids wanted to win the game for BB. It was emotional.''

Title games always are.

But the final score had little to do with the game. Terrell County, ranked No. 3 by The Herald and No. 8 in the state Class A poll, took over in the second quarter with a 15-3 that lifted the Greenwave to a 29-16 halftime lead, and never looked back.

Herald Super 6er Terel Hall led the breakaway with 11 first half points, driving Randolph-Clay batty with steals and drives up the middle. He finished with 17 points, five assists and four steals and as the clock ticked down, several Randolph-Clay fans stood and shouted insults to Hall, who just smiled back.

"We wanted it bad,'' Hall said. "When they beat us, we knew there would be the region championship game, and we knew we had to beat them."

And Browner?

"And we had to win it for him,'' Hall said. "He couldn't play, but he was on the bench, cheering us on.''

Dekoven Ware, who stands at just 6-foot even, battled Randolph-Clay's big front all night and finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, felt the same way.

"We told (Browner) we were going to dedicate the game to him, so we had to win it for him,'' Ware said. "Yes, it was physical. They are a lot bigger than us and a very physical team. I was just battling and trying to keep my head with four fouls.''

Randolph-Clay's Shaquille Nunnally, Malcolm Jones and Dejuan Gilbert all fouled out and Tim Stringer-Davis battled all night, too. But the Red Devils dug a huge hole for themselves in the third when Terrell County built the lead to 20 points at 36-16, before putting together a 9-0 run to get back in the game.

But the Red Devils, who were led by Alkawan Sullivan (14 points) and Jones (11 points), never got closer than seven down the stretch.

"It is what it is,'' R-C coach Oglesby Jackson said. "When our bigs fouled out, it kind of got to us. But take your hat off to Terrell County. They executed their gameplan well, and Terel (Hall) did a good job penetrating against us.

"It is what it is.''

Davis changed his standard gameplan and instead of pressing, which is Terrell County's bread-and-butter defense, dropped his kids back and concentrated on Randolph-Clay's shooters. The Red Devils made only two shots from the field in the second quarter and turned the ball over seven times to give Terrell County the legs to run.

The only player who wasn't running was Browner.

"It felt great to watch them win this,'' he said. "They told me they were going to win it for me and they did."

Browner then shouted: "That's five in a row!"

Just not as loudly as Brown, who finished with 10 points, and then left the gym with five region medals draped around his neck.

"Five, five, five,'' he shouted.

And no one at Terrell County needed to say anything else.