Randolph-Clay's Gary McCrae played above the rim Saturday night and certainly didn't look like a freshman when we powered the Red Devils past Terrell County.
CUTHBERT — Randolph-Clay’s Gary McCrae doesn’t look like a freshman and doesn’t play like a freshman.
“That’s what everybody tells me,” McCrae said after another classic with Terrell County Saturday ended in a 68-67 win for the Red Devils, with McCrae delivering the winning bucket in the final seconds.
McCrae scored 23 points and added nine rebounds, including a close-range layup with nine seconds left to help Randolph-Clay exact revenge on their Region 1-A rivals after falling in Dawson early in the season.
“I’ll be able to sleep good (Saturday night),” R-C head coach Oglesby Jackson said. “At least one night.”
McCrae was the X-factor in a game pitting Herald Super 6ers against each other and both did their part. Randolph-Clay’s Shaq Nunnally scored 22 points and pulled down 11 rebounds to help the Red Devils control the inside paint most of the night.
Terrell County’s Super 6er Dekoven Ware scored a game-high 28 points with seven boards and four steals and nearly won the game at the buzzer after grabbing a missed shot and following up, but his short jumper rolled off the rim after contact inside. Ware felt it was enough to warrant a foul call.
“I had a good look at the basketball, but I thought I got fouled,” said Ware, who is the only inside presence for the Greenwave and had to hold off McCrae and Nunnally all night. “They’re just good athletes. They crash the boards a lot.”
McCrae (remember, he’s a freshman) scored 17 points in the second half in one of the biggest rivalries in Class A.
“I don’t let it overwhelm me,” McCrae said of playing in big games as a rookie. “I just keep going hard every day to do my best and use my ability to the fullest.”
Cornelius Bennett stole the ball in the final 10 seconds from Terrell County and delivered the pass to McCrae that set up the eventual game-winning basket.
Randolph-Clay trailed, 63-58, with 2:59 to play after Terrell County’s Osmond Lemon nailed a 3-pointer. Lemon also scored 17 in the second half after scoring just two in the first. The Red Devils (9-9, 7-4 Region 1-A) led the entire first half, but trailed by as many as six in the second half after the Greenwave put the flames at The Pit out momentarily.
But McCrae reignited the lake of fire, scoring eight points in the final three minutes to win a huge region game after Calhoun County had turned the region upside down by beating both Terrell and Randolph-Clay in a week.
“He’s a manchild,” Jackson said of his freshman forward. “If he does what he’s supposed to do, he can’t be stopped. He played big for us (Saturday).”
Randolph-Clay next goes to Webster County on Tuesday. Terrell County (11-7, 8-3 Region 1-A) plays at Stewart County on Tuesday.
RANDOLPH-CLAY GIRLS 62, TERRELL COUNTY 27: The Lady Red Devils had their long-range touch Saturday, hitting eight 3s to run away for their ninth region win in 10 games.
Junior Whenekia Washington hit five of those trifectas and shared game-high scoring honors with fellow junior Adrianna Blackmon with 19 points. Another junior, Kanekia Washington, scored 12 points in the win, which gives Randolph-Clay (11-4, 9-1 Region 1-A) a two-game advantage in the subregion for first place over Calhoun County.
Terrell County (2-13, 1-8 Region 1-A) was led by Takerian Jordan’s 10 points. Nydrah Wright added seven in the loss.