Herald Super 6er Gary McCrae helped lead a huge comeback Saturday night to lead Randolph-Clay past rival Terrell County on the Greenwave's home floor.
DAWSON -- Nothing was going to stop Gary McRae.
He even gave a pep talk.
“I told everyone at halftime that this is not the way we play. I told them we have to think about what we’re doing and go out and get our revenge,’’ said McRae, who lifted Randolph-Clay on his shoulders and led the Red Devils to a 62-60 win in overtime against rival Terrell County on Saturday night’s in one of the biggest comebacks in Southwest Georgia this season.
Randolph-Clay was down by 21 points early in the third quarter but came back forced overtime when McRae, a Herald Super 6er, tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer to send the game to OT at 56-56
And it was McRae who won it on the defensive end in overtime, single-handedly stopping Terrell County on its final two drives of the night.
McRae, who had four points at halftime, finished with 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocked shots, including two monster blocks in the final minute of overtime that put the game away.
Terrell County shot 70 percent from the field in the second quarter to build a 37-18 lead and led by as much as 21 points (39-18), but the Greenwave couldn’t get a shot off at the end of overtime.
Jatavious Carter, who led the Greenwave with 18 points, hit a 15-footer with 3:01 left in OT to give Terrell County a 60-57 lead, but the Greenwave was held scoreless the final three minutes, thanks to two blocked shots by McRae.
McRae hit two free throws with 2:28 left to close to 60-59, then had a huge block at the other end to set up a fast break. Cornelius Bennet hit the drive to give R-C a 61-60 lead with 2:20 left and after both teams turned the ball and R-C missed a shot, Terrell County got the ball back with 32 seconds left and set up a play to win it.
But McRae blocked the shot with 2.0 seconds left on the clock and Bennet hit a final free throw at 1.8 to nail it down, 62-60, and avenge an earlier loss to Terrell County.
“I just challenged them at halftime,” said R-C coach Michael Hoffpauir, who took over the program this year. “It was gut-check time. This is a young team and we’re still learning how to win. I challenged them and told we’ve got to go man-to-man and give it everything we’ve got. They did a tremendous job. I just wanted them to have the confidence to pull it out.
McRae scored 10 points in the third and Bennett hit two big 3s to ignite a 20-4 run that brought the Red devils back in the game, but Carter hit a long two-pointer and the ended the third with a shot from half court that sent the standing-room only crowd wild and gave Terrell County a 48-40 lead.
“I thought that shot was a momentum killer,‘’ Hoffpauir said.’’
It wasn‘t. McRae was the momentum killer
RANDOLPH-CLAY 69, TERRELL COUNTY 25: The Herald No. 1 Randolph-Clay Lady Red Devils had an easy time Saturday night against rival Terrell County as Adriana Blackmon and Kobi Thornton each scored 20 points, and Kanekia Washington dropped in 13 while Brianna Thornton scored 10 for RC, which is also the No. 1 ranked Class A public school girls team in the state. Timerius Whitley and Nydrah Wright led Terrell County with eight points each.
Randolph-Clay has now won 21 of its last 22 games and is 21-2 for the season. The Lady Red Devils play Webster on Friday and end the regular season at home on Saturday against rival Calhoun County before playing host to the Region 1-A tournament, where R-C (12-0) is the top seeded team.