By Lee Wright
Special to Daily
Just when the Stockbridge Tigers looked as if they had successfully come from behind and prevailed in overtime on Tuesday against visiting Spalding, Davin White had one final answer.
The gutty point guard drained a 3-point basket with 13 seconds remaining in the overtime period to lift Spalding to a thrilling 59-58 victory over Stockbridge in a key Region 4-AAA boys contest. Spalding improves to 11-5 overall and 7-3 in Region 4-AAA, while head coach Duane Kelley's Stockbridge Tigers fall to 10-6 and 8-3 in the region.
Both teams now trail sixth-ranked Henry County by a game-and-a-half in the Region 4-AAA standings.
"Give Spalding credit - they made plays in the end and we didn't," said Kelley. "I cannot question our effort - our guys persevered. But it seemed like ever opportunity or every 50-50 play went their way and not ours."
At the end of the third quarter, it appeared light's out for Stockbridge. The Tigers trailed 44-33 and had not got into an offensive flow for much of the game. But senior forward Dante Campbell basically put Stockbridge on his back in the final quarter to rally the Tigers.
He scored twice on 3-point plays, including a baseline jumper and free throw with 39 seconds remaining to tie the game 48-48. Following a Spalding turnover, guard Deshawn Badger put the Tigers in front 49-48 with 22 seconds remaining. But on Spalding's ensuing possession, White was fouled with six seconds remaining, and made his first free throw to tie game.
The Tigers had a final shot a winning in regulation, but Badger was stripped of the ball going for a lay-up as time expired.
In the overtime period, Stockbridge built a four-point lead as Badger scored on a running jumper in the lane. Three free throws by Campbell stretched the Tiger lead to 55-51 with 1:17 remaining. However, White rose to the occasion again for Spalding with a 3-point basket with a minute remaining to cut the Stockbridge lead to one point. White then stole the inbounds pass and converted a lay-up to give Spalding a 56-55 lead with 55 seconds remaining.
But Campbell answered with running jump shot with 45 seconds remaining to reclaim the lead for the Tigers. White missed a 3-point basket and Stockbridge guard Antonio Jackson was fouled on the rebound. He hit 1-for-2 from the free throw line with 27 seconds remaining to give the Tigers a 58-56 lead.
But White drove the baseline, underneath the basket and freed himself up on the left wing for the game-winning 3-point basket.
White scored a game-high 29 points for Spalding, while Mikee Dickerson scored 13 points. Campbell was tremendous for Stockbridge with 24 points, followed by Daniel Hoe with 14 points and Badger scored 12 points.
Stockbridge 49, Spalding 31 (G): Head coach Tyecia Powell's Stockbridge Lady Tigers evened their overall record at 9-9 and improved to 8-3 in Region 4-AAA with an impressive defensive showing against visiting Spalding. Stockbridge limited Spalding to 24 percent shooting from the field and did not allow a 3-point basket.
In the second half alone, the Lady Tiger defense was stingy. Stockbridge spotted Spalding only four second-half field goals, including only one in the fourth quarter.
That turned a close game at the end of the third quarter (a 30-26 Stockbridge lead) into a rout. In the fourth quarter, the Lady Tigers out-scored Spalding 19-5.
Amari Moreland paced Stockbridge with 15 points, followed by Miracle Johnson with 11 points.