MILLEDGEVILLE — Every player on the court for Upson-Lee knew exactly where Aaron May was Friday as Lee County’s star senior dribbled up the court in the closing seconds with his team trailing by a single point.
Luckily for the Trojans, May knew exactly where teammate Curtis Williams was.
Double-teamed on Lee County’s final possession, May flipped the ball to Williams, who hit the game-winning layup with 4.2 seconds left to give the Trojans a 47-46 win in the second day of the Baldwin High Holiday Classic.
Williams, a 5-foot-11 junior, scored just four points in the game but still found a way to be the “hero.”
“We had an unlikely hero (Friday),” Lee County coach Kirven Davis said. “Aaron has been so hot this season, so we figured (Upson-Lee) would double-team him. That was exactly what happened, and then Aaron found Curtis for the game-winning layup.”
May, a Herald Super 6er who scored a career-high 44 points in Thursday’s loss to Hancock Central, led the Trojans with 28 points and 11 rebounds.
J.J. Rivers was one of several starters out with an illness on Thursday, but the senior forward returned Friday and scored 10 points for the Trojans.
“J.J.’s parents drove him up for the game (Friday) morning, and he was the difference maker for us with his inside presence,” Davis said.
The Trojans (6-7) jumped out to a 20-4 lead in the first quarter and led 28-8 at halftime, but with Lee County’s reserves on the floor in the second half, Upson-Lee mounted a late comeback and took a one-point lead with 35 seconds left, setting up Williams’ game winner.
Lee County resumes play Jan. 10 against Hardaway in the Trojans’ Region 1-AAAAA opener.
R-C TO TITLE GAMES: The Randolph-Clay boys and girls basketball teams will play in their respective championship games today in the Thomasville Holiday Hoopfest after sweeping Bainbridge in Friday’s semifinals.
The Herald No. 1 Randolph-Clay girls easily won, 54-36, behind 25 points from Brandi Buie and 24 points from Herald Super 6er Kobi Thornton, a 6-foot-2 sophomore who attempted a dunk in the game on a fast break but had it clank off the rim.
The Lady Red Devils (7-0) play either Mitchell County or Brooks County in the title game at 7 p.m. today.
The Herald No. 5 Randolph-Clay boys (7-2) held on for a 60-54 victory and were led by Super 6er Gary McCrae (18 points), Cornelius Bennett (12 points) and Kwymente Parker (12 points). The Red Devils will play either Thomasville or Brooks County in today’s title game at 8:30 p.m.
Super 6er Tyree Crump led the Bainbridge boys with 22 points, while Alex Carter led the Lady Bearcats with 18 points.
MONROE GIRLS DROP 4TH STRAIGHT: With several key players battling injuries, the Herald No. 4 Monroe girls lost their fourth straight game Friday with a 76-66 loss to Laney in the Colquitt Christmas Classic.
The Lady Tornadoes (8-4) were led by Key Key Price’s 25 points, while Lynsey Washington added 15 points. Monroe trailed by one point entering the fourth quarter and took the lead in the fourth quarter, but Laney pulled away down the stretch.
Monroe, which lost to Brunswick 61-43 on Thursday, plays again today at 5:30 p.m. against Rickards in the final day of the tournament.
PELHAM SWEEPS WILCOX: The Pelham boys and girls teams swept Wilcox County in the opening round of the Turner County Christmas Tournament and both advanced to today’s semifinals.
The Pelham boys (4-2) were led by Darius Spence in a 72-59 victory, while the Herald No. 2 Lady Hornets cruised to a 73-12 win.
Super 6er Briunna Freeman led the Pelham girls (6-0) with 17 points, while Stephanie Thomas scored 13 and Harmony Smith added 12 points.
GLENN HILLS BOYS 72, CRISP COUNTY 56: Glenn Hills led by 29-20 at halftime but pulled away in the second half to beat the Cougars in Day 2 of the Chick-fil-A Classic at Tucker High School in Atlanta.
Super 6er Javoris Cooks led Crisp County with 21 points, and Davion Harvey scored 12 points for the Cougars (4-6), who play again Jan. 3 at Cairo.
WEST LAURENS GIRLS 55, CRISP COUNTY 52: West Laurens used 14 free throw attempts — compared to none by the Lady Cougars — in the second quarter to fight back from a 10-point deficit and hand Crisp County its third straight loss.
The Lady Cougars (4-6) were led by Nasheema Oliver and Deletria Colson, who each scored 14 points, while Kayla Green added 11 points. Crisp wraps up play in the Colquitt Christmas Classic at 7 p.m. today against Colquitt County.
DWS BOYS, GIRLS LOSE TOURNAMENT OPENERS: Glenwood Academy swept the Deerfield-Windsor boys and girls Friday in the opening round of the Phenix City (Ala.) Christmas Tournament.
The DWS boys fell, 71-54, and were led in scoring by Chandler Matthews (12 points), Chap Ivey (11 points) and Christian Wallace (10 points). The Knights (4-2) fell behind by 18 points early in the second half but cut the deficit to as little as seven points in the fourth quarter before Glenwood pulled away late.
The DWS girls lost to No. 1-ranked Glenwood, 47-45. Nyla Perry led the Lady Knights (3-5) with 15 points, and Gabby Burt added 12 points for Deerfield, which took a one-point lead in the fourth quarter but missed a game-winning attempt at the buzzer.