Mitchell's Jaquan Williams hit the game-winner Friday night to beat Seminole, 55-54, in overtime after a remarkable pass from his teammate Brian Peoples.
DONALSONVILLE — Jaquan Williams didn’t want the credit, just the ball.
He got both.
It was Williams who put up the game-winning shot with 12 seconds left in overtime to lift Mitchell County to a 55-54 win against Seminole County on Friday night in a wild game that saw Seminole storm back from a horrible start to tie the score twice — on clutch shots by Jakhari Martin — in the final minute of regulation only to lose the heartbreaker.
Williams scored four points all night but hit the biggest basket of his career to win it, then he gave all the credit to Brian Peoples, who came off the bench to grab the biggest rebound of his career. Peoples, who came into the game midway in the fourth quarter when Herald Super 6er Jermaine Hartsfield fouled out, snatched the long rebound with 12 seconds left and then fired a pass to Williams on the other side of the basket.
“It’s all him,’’ Williams said. “He made the play. He got the rebound and made the pass. When I got the ball, I just knew I had to put it. But (Brian) made the play. He never stops hustling. It all goes to him. I just put it in for him.”
Mitchell County coach Kenneth Harris said the same thing about Peoples, the ultimate sixth man.
“He does something in every game,’’ Harris said. “Some people come into a game and they manage. But when Brian Peoples comes into a game, something’s going to happen.’’
It did, and Mitchell is now 14-3 and 2-0 in the Region 1-A South, where it looks like the race will be between Mitchell and Seminole. Stay tuned, they play again in Camilla on Feb. 1.
“It was a crazy, congested play that won it,’’ Seminole coach Kevin Godwinsaid . “It was a hustling play by (Peoples) to get that rebound, and he runs it down on the other side of the court and makes a pass to the other side of the basket in all that congestion, and (Williams) jump hooks it in.
“That was a frustrating loss," he added with a deep breath. “That’s about as frustrating loss as it gets.”
Peoples said he was just glad Mitchell won.
“I had to play smart,’’ he said. “We had to win this game. I had to get that rebound, and I had to make a good pass.’’
How good was the pass in all that traffic?
“It was real good,’’ Peoples said. “Good enough to win the game.’’
Harris called Seminole a great team for the comeback, while also praising his kids and Peoples.
“Brian Peoples is always big. He’s been big since Day 1,’’ Harris said. “It was a great game for the fans, but not the coaches. Seminole has a heck of a team. They never quit. But our team doesn’t quit, either.’’
Godwin gave Peoples and Williams credit for making the play that beat his team, but he didn’t blame the ending. He gave Mitchell credit for pulling the game out. But he told his kids they didn’t lose it in OT. They lost it in the opening minutes.
“I am very, very proud of the effort of our kids,” he said. “They never gave up. They kept fighting, but I told them we lost the game in the first quarter. It was our poor play in the first quarter that lost this game. We missed so many shots, and you can’t miss shots like that in your own gym.’’
Seminole went 2-for-18 in the first quarter and missed 12 shots in a row in one stretch to fall behind, 13-5. The Indians (10-3) closed to 25-23 by halftime and both teams played a wild second half that saw Mitchell dominate the boards and Seminole force turnovers. Mitchell had 32 turnovers for the night, including a huge throw out of bounds with 6.3 seconds left.
Martin had the ball and Godwin had called for him to drive to the basket, but the ball hit his foot and rolled away and by the time he dived on the floor to create a jump ball, there was one second left on the clock. Jamal Martin’s desperation shot from half court never had a chance.
The Indians, who knotted the score at 50-50 on a Jakhari Martin’s 3-pointer with 35 seconds left and tied it at 53-53 on Martin’s outside shot with three seconds left to send the game to OT, had a chance to win it with 44 seconds left in OT. Robert Speights, who scored Seminole’s only basket in overtime to lift the Indians to a 54-53 lead, missed two free throws with 44 seconds left that would have given the Indians a three-point lead.
“We had our chance with those free throws in the last minute and didn’t make them,” Godwin said.
Speights and Jordan Harris led Seminole with 12 points each, and Jamal Martin scored 11. Jakhari Martin scored all nine of his points in the second half. Daron Hodges led Mitchell with 14 points. Bruce Bryant scored 12 points and had nine rebounds, and Hartsfield had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Mitchell.