Albany's Malik Dungee-Ali led all scorers in Saturday's game with 17 points, and he added six boards in the Indians' victory.
ALBANY — Archie Chatmon walked over and shook captain Dezmond Newberry’s hand.
Newberry only scored three points Saturday night in a 50-47 win over Mitchell County, but he made the play of the game defensively to help the Indians secure another win before diving back into Region 1-AAAA next week.
“That’s the kind of leadership you need from your guy,” Chatmon said. “I told the guys, ‘there are more ways to win a game than hitting a jump shot.’ It was awesome.”
Down 49-47 win less than 10 seconds to play, Mitchell County’s Jermaine Hartsfield, who scored 14 in the loss, drove to the baseline and banked in a shot with five seconds to tie the game as Newberry went tumbling to the floor with the charge call.
“We had opportunities to win,” Eagles’ head coach Kenneth Harris said. “We had two inbounds plays to tie and we made a basket, but the call didn’t go our way.”
Albany’s sophomore guard Malik Dungee-Ali led all scorers with 17 points and added six boards in the win. Mitchell (12-3) led for most of the second half until the Indians (7-5) stormed back and cut the lead to 45-44 on Tyler Cheese’s 3-pointer with 4:26 to play. Albany tied the game at 47-47 on Dungee-Ali’s layup with 1:09 left and took the lead for good when Jordan Young, who scored just four but added eight boards and three blocks, hit a lay-in with 30 seconds to play.
“We should have won the game,” Harris said. “We’re not going home with a moral victory. If we rebounded and played better defensively, we would have won the game.”
Mitchell got eight points from Jaquan Williams and Daron Hodges, but most of the high scorers were held in check for most of the night.
“That’s who we are and that’s how we win,” said Chatmon, who credited playing Turner County in a two-point loss the night before with helping win Saturday. “(Mitchell and Turner) play the same game. We just got out of bed and continued last night’s game.”
Chatmon, who organizes the Indians’ schedule, joked that it was great foresight to schedule back-to-back games against teams with similar styles.
“Who made that schedule?” Chatmon asked. “They did a great job.”
Mitchell led 29-22 at the half and 39-35 after three quarters, but didn’t score the final 3:14 after Hodges found Hartsfield underneath for an easy lay-in to go up 47-44. Albany’s young guns, including freshman Joe Stone and sophomore Dungee-Ali, played well in the second-half comeback and have been key contributors for Chatmon, something he never really expected.
“I can’t say enough about all of those young kids,” Chatmon said. “I couldn’t have called that coming in. It’s a blessing.”
Cheese added 14 points for the Indians, who get back into region play Tuesday at home against Americus. Chatmon said there was a chance the game could be moved to Americus if the Albany High gym floor is being worked on. Mitchell County begins Region 1-A play Tuesday against Miller County.
MITCHELL COUNTY GIRLS 40, ALBANY 34: Mitchell County used an 11-0 run to end the first half with a 23-11 lead and hung on for dear life to knock off the Lady Squaws on the road. Lady Indians guard Jashara Burns went 3-for-4 from the foul line in the final 22 seconds to increase a 37-34 lead to 40-34, despite Mitchell going 3-for-17 from the line before her clutch performance.
Albany High’s Shakia Ivey tied the game at 34-34 with a rebound and putback with 1:32 to play. The Lady Squaws (3-9) went cold down the stretch but stayed close with Mitchell’s free-throw-shooting woes. Briana Williams led Albany with 16 points, including four 3-pointers. NaKiedra Green and Kairsha Jackson each scored seven in the loss.
Herald No. 5 Mitchell was led by Herald Super 6er A’Miracle Jones’ 12 points, while Miya Burns chipped in 11 for the Lady Eagles (8-7). Shabreeka Holton added eight.