PORTAL — Not since the glory days of Mitchell-Baker High School has Camilla seen a boys basketball team be this sucessful.
But unfortunately for Eagles fans, that run — at least this year’s — is now over.
Mitchell County, the No. 6 seed in the GHSA Class A state tournament, lost a nailbiter to No. 3 seed Portal on Wednesday in the Elite 8, 56-54.
Mitchell was down one point with just seconds left when it was forced to foul Portal, which made one of two free throws to keep the Eagles’ hopes alive.
“We called a time out with five seconds left, setup a play and got a good shot off,” Mitchell County coach Kenneth Harris said. “We just missed it.”
Herald Super 6er Jermaine Hartsfield, who was ice cold all night and finished with just three points, took the final shot, but it “hit the back of the rim and bounced off,” Harris said.
Mitchell (25-5) ends with the program’s best record since Mitchell County and Baker split in 2006 and went their separate ways.
The bad news, however, is that the Eagles lose eight seniors — four of who were starters, including Jaquan Williams, Joquil Chester, Daron Hodges and Hartsfield.
“We just told the guys afterward we were proud of them, and we just came up a little short,” Harris said. “Everybody played hard — everybody. We’re walking away with our heads up.”
Mitchell had three players in double figures: Hodges (14 points), Williams (12) and Bruce Bryant (11).
McRae's 31 points, 25 rebounds not enough for Red Devils
WILKINSON — Randolph-Clay's Gary McRae went into "beast mode" in Wednesday night's Class A Elite 8 game against Wilkinson County, but even that wasn't enough to knock off the No. 5 seed Warriors.
McRae, a Herald Super 6er, finished with 31 points and 25 rebounds in the 70-66 loss, which ended the No. 13 seed Red Devils' season.
"We told (McRae) we would go to him early and that it would be a big night for him and (Ryan Wiggins)," R-C coach Michael Hoffpauir said. "We call it beast mode. We wanted him to get in beast mode early. They played their hearts out and left it all on the court."
Wiggins added 18 points and 15 rebounds for R-C, which led late in the game before Wilkinson's Torico Simmons, who scored a team-high 24 points and hit 12-of-12 free throws, sank two 3-pointers in the closing moments of the fourth quarter to seal the win.
The Red Devils (17-12), who also got 13 points from Corey Brown, won't lose any seniors from this year's team.
"I told our guys that I was very proud of what they accomplished this year and not to hang their heads about anything because they left it all on the floor," Hoffpauir said. "(Wilkinson) was supposed to be one of the top teams in the state, and we took them all the way till the end."