Dyer County 79
This is what state championship basketball is all about.
Jalen Steele scoured the nets for 27 his running mate James Gallman added 21 and Fulton advanced to the AA championship game for a date with Memphis Mitchell by outlasting the Choctaws of Dyer County 86-79 in double overtime.
Fulton staked claim to the early lead running out to an 18-8 margin behind Dominique Minor and the aforementioned Steele.
Dyer County never got to far out of sorts with junior guard C.J. Crittendon providing scoring and crucial plays to keep the once beaten Chochtaws within scratching distance.
The contest was tied at the half and Fulton carried a three point lead after three before the fireworks were ready to begin.
Behind inspired play from the senior Minor, the Falcons led 61-56 before a technical foul resulted in a Dyer County 9-0 run and Fulton was watching from the other end of the floor.
Steele came to the rescue with two huge buckets tying the contest at 65 all with only .35 ticks on the clock. The teams traded turnovers and prepared for the first overtime.
Sophomore Robert Boyd, who played outstanding in this contest, made a crucial steal feeding Shannon Hollingsworth who in turn fed Will Bryant and Fulton led 71-68 with mere ticks left on the clock.
In typical Dyer County fashion, the Choctaws refused to panic and senior leader Justin Blake calmly launched a sweet three that tickled nothing but twine and the second overtime was to commence.
The final overtime period belonged to Gallman, who drained a deep three before finishing things off at the charity stripe. The win moves Fulton into the title game with Mitchell on Saturday afternoon.
Joining Steele and Gallman in the scoring column Minor finished with 16 points and grabbed a game high 19 boards. His presence was mighty. Boyd finished with 10 markers and Hollingsworth added 10 assists,
Crittendon was absolutely outstanding for D.C. finishing with 31 points. His outside shooting has improved dramatically and he is one of the top guards in his class without question.
DeJuan Taylor finished with 21 points and Mr. Basketball candidate Blake closed his storied career with 14.
Kenyan Torry came up two points shy of tying the state scoring record finishing with 48 points and helping Mitchell advance to the AA title game with a 87-61 drubbing of Howard.
Torry was the story hitting 19 field goals including 2 three and 8 foul shots to finish with his 48. The previous record is held by former South Fulton star Trey Pearson with 50.
Amoni Burditt finished the game with 11 and Darrell Neal returned to action on Friday getting 10 in the scoring colum for the Tigers.
Howard finishes the season 31-3 and were led in scoring by Brandon Allen with 13, Dominique Taylor with 12, Darius Ricks with 11 and Dominique Harper with 10.