Mitchell County’s A’Miracle Jones (30) tries to pass around Greenville’s Divinty Kidd (21) Saturday in the Class A public school semifinals at Savannah State University. (Staff Photo: Tim Morse)
SAVANNAH - Mitchell County players heard the chant some two hours before their semifinal game against Greenville started.
Following Randolph-Clay’s victory over Claxton, the large contingent of Lady Red Devil fans began the chant, “We want Mitchell.”
Randolph-Clay fans got their wish. So did Mitchell County.
The two teams will meet yet again this season — the fourth time to be exact — following Mitchell County’s 73-49 win over Greenville Saturday in the Class A public school state semifinals at Savannah State University.
The only difference between the three previous times is there will be a much bigger prize on the line — the winner will capture the Class A public school state championship.
“We heard (their fans),” senior Shonbreka Holton said.
Mitchell County coach Rosemary Sanders added, “We gave them what they wanted.”
After Mitchell played poorly during the opening minutes and fell behind, they rallied to grab the lead, then turned it on in the third quarter when they held Greenville without a field goal over the first 5:29 of the third period. Then they outscored them 14-6 to build a 17-point advantage.
They finished the third quarter hitting 6-of-14 from the floor and cruised to a relatively easy victory.
“We came out hungry in the second half,” Sanders said. “We outhustled them and wanted it more.”
A’Miracle Jones led the way with a game-high 37 points for Mitchell County, most of them inside the paint on putbacks.
During the first half, Sanders rolled her eyes in frustration when the Lady Eagles sloppily missed shots underneath the basket. However, Mitchell started the second half with a desire to correct those miscues.
Shonbreka Holton, who scored six of her 14 points in the third quarter, opened by burying two of Mitchell’s first three baskets to give the Lady Eagles their first double-figure lead at the 6:45 mark of the third.
“My teammates kept me motivated, telling me that I could do it,” Holton said. “Coach kept telling me to make every shot I could make.”
Mitchell’s victory earned them a date with Region 1-A foe Randolph-Clay, who pounded Claxton 45-30 in the girls’ other Class A public school semifinal game. Randolph has handed Mitchell County three of its six losses this season — all by a combined 11 points.
None were worse for the Lady Eagles than in the region championship game when Mitchell County had a chance to win in regulation but failed to connect on its free throws. They eventually lost in overtime.
The Lady Eagles are looking forward to the fourth time. The game will be Thursday afternoon at 3 p.m. in the Macon Coliseum.
“We’re just going to stay humble and play our game” Jones said. “We’ve got to keep playing like we have the last five games. Just play our basketball and keep God first.”