Randolph-Clay boys shock Herald No. 2 Terrell County, 62-61

Photo by Danny Aller

Photo by Danny Aller

CUTHBERT -- Oglesby Jackson was so excited Saturday night, he could barely remember what happened at the end of the Randolph-Clay boys basketball team's stunning 62-61 overtime win against Herald No. 2 Terrell County.

But make no mistake -- this is one win Jackson, nor his kids, will ever forget.

Jackson, who took over a program in turmoil at midseason last year and has been trying with all his might to return the Red Devils to prominence ever since, earned what he called "the biggest win" of his coaching career Saturday thanks to 21 points from Shaquille Nunnally, who also did the dirty work on the defensive end, holding Herald Super 6er Terel Hall to just 11 points.

"This was a showdown at the pit -- and we needed this one. We knew if we lost this game, it was an uphill battle the rest of the season (in the region race)," said Jackson, whose team improved to 13-6 overall and 7-3 in sub-region 1B-A. "But now, this throws a monkey wrench into everything."

After going to overtime tied, 54-54, and trading the lead back and forth in OT, the Greenwave's Elliot Harvey put Terrell ahead, 62-61, from the free throw line. But with seven seconds left, R-C's Alkwan Sullivan drove to the basket for what proved to be the game-winning layup as Terrell missed a shot at the buzzer for the win.

Terrell fell to 13-2 and lost its first region game of the year.

"They had a shot to win it and it didn't go in," Jackson said. "I'm just thankful we were able to hold on, but at the same time -- like I've been telling my guys all year -- we can beat great teams like Terrell County if we play together and come out fighting every night. This was a team win and I give (all the credit to my guys)."

Especially Nunnally, who had the toughest task Saturday night of anyone: trying to shut down arguably the best point guard in all of Southwest Georgia.

"My hats off to Shaquille," Jackson said. "To almost hold Terel to single digits in scoring is a feat in itself because (Hall) and Terrell County pushed us to the limit.

"Shaquille was just a beast out there (Saturday night)."

At halftime, Terrell County had a comfortable lead, 36-27, through slowly but surely the Red Devils crept back into the game thanks to two of Randolph-Clay's seven senior leaders: Sullivan -- who finished with 15 points -- and Timothy Stringer-Davis (10 points).

At the end of regulation, both teams had a chance to win the game, but errant shots forced overtime as the crowd in Cuthbert held their breath in anticipation of the program's biggest win since the days of legendary coach Joe Williams, who retired before the 2009 season with more than 1,000 wins and multiple state championships.

"This is the kind of win this town has been looking for (since coach Joe left)," Jackson said. "But, going forward, it doesn't mean anything if we don't go back to the drawing board and build on it.

"But at least this proved to my kids that we can play with anybody."

Charles Brown led the Greenwave with 15 points, followed by 12 from Dekoven Ware, who was coming off the biggest game by anyone in Southwest Georgia this season when he hung 36 points and pulled down 16 rebounds Friday night in a dominating performance against Calhoun County.

Randolph-Clay, which was coming off a stunning loss Friday to Stewart County, may have been guilty of looking ahead to Saturday's showdown with Terrell.

But that was a moot point after the win, Jackson said.

"Maybe we did, maybe we didn't (look past Stewart)," Jackson said. "What matters is that we got this win. It feels great, man."

The victory also means the two teams split their regular-season meetings after Terrell beat R-C-, 77-71, back on Dec. 4. It may also set the stage for Round 3 in the Region 1-A tournament in mid-February.

"Let's hope so," Jackson said.