Terrell County's DiQuan Griggs went off for 22 points -- including 7-for-9 from 3-point land --- to help lead the Greenwave past Randolph-Clay on Saturday night in Cuthbert.
CUTHBERT — DiQuan Griggs said he felt like Michael Jordan, and he made Randolph-Clay feel like the NBA in the ’90s.
He simply burned Randolph all night Saturday to lift Terrell County to its biggest win of the season against its biggest rival — a 67-47 victory in front of a standing-room-only crowd at the Joe Williams Gym.
About the only thing Griggs didn’t do was an underwear commercial, because he was Jordan-esque from beyond the arc.
Griggs made 7 of 9 shots from 3-point land and finished with 22 points, and it seemed every trey was a dagger. Every time Randolph-Clay made a run — and the Red Devils made it interesting in the second half — Griggs would hit them with another 3.
“I was feeling it,’’ said Griggs, a senior whose career-high had been 15 points before Saturday. “I felt like Michael Jordan. The basket looked like a big trash can. It has never looked that big to me.’’
He dropped in almost every shot, and when the Greenwave needed him most, Griggs was his most deadly.
“I called a time out and told (my players) that every time we get close, he finds some space and hits a shot,” Randolph-Clay coach Michael Hoffpauir said. “I knew he was a shooter, but that’s probably the best night he has had all year. He picked (this game) to have his best game against us.”
Griggs and the Greenwave kids hope this is a new beginning for them.
“It’s a great motivational win,’’ Terrell County coach John Davis said. “We’re hoping this game can turn our season around. We’ve been struggling, but this is a big sub-region game, and it’s a rivalry game.’’
He also couldn’t say enough nice things about Griggs.
“He’s a great shooter,’’ he said. “Before the game, we were talking about him squaring up when he took his 3’ and he had a great night (Saturday) — his best night.’’
Terrell County is 4-9 for the season, but the Greenwave are 5-3 in Region 1-A and 3-1 in the north half of the region with wins against their biggest rivals, Calhoun County and Randolph-Clay. Calhoun beat R-C, 65-62, on Friday in Edison, and that makes Terrell County’s 20-point win that much more impressive.
“We want to turn the season around,” Griggs said. “We hope this game does that. We want to win the rest of them.”
There are only six games left before the Region 1-A tournament so Terrell County picked a good time to get hot. Randolph-Clay started the season as the hottest Class A team in Southwest Georgia and beat Mitchell County (the No. 1-ranked team in the state Class A poll), but the back-to-back losses this weekend dropped the Red Devils to 9-11 for the season.
Davis said Saturday’s game was the best his kids had played all year, while R-C was left looking for answers.
“We allow people to play good against us,’’ Hoffpauir said. “We didn’t play enough defense. We didn’t execute on defense. And we had chances, but couldn’t put the ball in the basket. Our first half was terrible (and when we closed in the second half), we couldn’t make shots.”
The Red Devils opened the game by going 2-for-12 from the field and just 8-for-26 in the first half and trailed, 30-15, before Cornelius Bennett hit a half-court shot at the halftime buzzer. Bennett seemed to lift the Red Devils, who closed to within six points, 39-33 with 1:14 left in the third, but Griggs hit a 3 to close out the quarter, 42-33, and when R-C made a run in the fourth to close to 47-41, Griggs hit another 3. He made his seventh 3 of the night to stop Randolph-Clay’s final push. The Red Devils closed to nine points, 54-45, with 3:30 left and had momentum before Griggs buried a 3 with 2:27 left to make it a 57-45 game — and Terrell took off and won by 20.
Herald Super 6er Gary McCrae led Randolph with 14 points, six rebounds and five steals, and Ryan Wiggans dropped in 14 for the Red Devils. Bennett finished with 11. Joseph Ward had a big night for the Greenwave with 17 points and eight boards.
“It’s just up to the kids,’’ said Davis, whose team next plays Stewart at home Friday. “They decided to play (Saturday). This was the best we’ve played all year. We just hope it turns it around for us.’’
RANDOLPH-CLAY GIRLS 63, TERRELL COUNTY 36: After Friday night’s thrilling 53-51 comeback win against rival Calhoun County, Randolph-Clay girls coach Jennifer Acree said, “At the end of the game there’s only one question, and that’s, ‘Who won?’ ”
She felt the same way after her kids had an easy time with Terrell County on Saturday night at the Joe Williams Gym, where the Lady Red Devils won big.
Herald No. 1 Randolph-Clay wants to win every game to stay atop the Class A state rankings, which would ensure home court during the playoffs, and Acree’s kids have played like it, winning 18 of their last 19 games, including seven in a row, to improve to 18-2.
Kanekia Washington, who hit the winning basket with 8.3 seconds left Friday, scored 22 and sat down early Saturday, while Adrianna Blackmon added 18. Whenekia Washington hit three 3s and finished with nine points, and Kobi Thornton had nine point before sitting down.
Terrell County (4-10) was led by Takerian Jordan, who scored 13, and Timeria Whitney, who dropped in 10. The Lady Greenwave plays Stewart County on the road Friday. Randolph-Clay next plays at home Tuesday against Webster.