Smokey Road rallies to defeat Lee in OT to complete undefeated season
by Doug Gorman
Corey Searcy thought he had seen it all during his tenure as Smokey Road’s boys basketball coach.
With five Coweta County Middle School Athletic League titles under his belt, Searcy knew his squad was in for a tough battle with Lee in Friday championship game — even with an undefeated record.
He wasn’t expecting overtime or for his team to have to come from behind, but that’s what he got before his Wildcats pulled out a remarkable 33-28 victory.
After a game that saw 10 lead changes, Lee appeared to have the contest won when Perez McLauglin hit a basket with 18 seconds left to put the Timberwolves up 28-26.
However, Jarrell Rosser hit Smokey Road’s most dramatic shot of the night when he got behind the Lee defense on an inbounds pass, grabbed the ball in the lane and converted a shot of the glass with two seconds to go to send the contest into overtime.
Smokey Road scored the only points by either team in overtime to finish off its season undefeated with a perfect 10-0 after reaching the final with a hard-fought 42-39 win over No. 4 seed Evans in Thursday’s semifinals.
“We knew we had a chance to be pretty good,” Searcy said. “We had some experienced players coming back.”
Lee, which ended its year with a 7-3 record, also had to battle just to reach Friday’s championship while winding up playing two consecutive overtime games to close the 2013-14 season.
Following a first-round bye, the No. 2 seeded Timberwolves outlasted third-seed East Coweta 44-40 in double overtime behind 15 points from both P.J. Harris and Perez McLaughlin.
But with a potential title at its fingertips in the closing seconds of regulation, Lee fumbled an opportunity on Friday as the game continued into an extra period against unbeaten Smokey Road.
“I kind of thought we were going to win after that,” Searcy said. “I think that gave us back the momentum.
The veteran coach was right.
Searcy said finishing undefeated is special.
“We are good, but there was also some luck along the way,” he said. “We never stopped thinking we could win.”
Lee had upset on its mind early grabbing a 10-6 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Timberwolves Chris Reid had the hot hand early for the Lee scoring six points in the first quarter.
Jarrell Rosser kept Smokey Road in the game with two basket in the first quarter.
The two teams set the tone for the wild finish early in the second quarter sending the game to the locker room tied at 17.
Harris stepped up for Lee with a 3-pointer for the Timberwolves, while Royce Hoskins buried a trey for Smokey Road in the second period.
The two teams were also tied at 22 at the end of the third quarter both teams scoring just five points.
Smokey Road was led by twins Jarrell and Jarad Rosser, each of whom scored 9 points in the championship game.
Reid led the way for Lee with 8.
WILDCATS 33, TIMBERWOLVES 28 (OT)
LEE 10 7 5 6—28
SMOKEY ROAD 6 11 5 11—33