AAAAA boys: Gainesville 63, Effingham County 62

Tray Harrison only scored nine points, but the last four were some of the biggest of the game — and the season —  for Gainesville.

The senior guard scored a basket that drew the Red Elephants to within a point, then drove the lane through traffic and scored the winning basket with 2.3 seconds remaining to give No. 9 Gainesville a 63-62 win over No. 2 Effingham County in the Class AAAAA boys semifinals at Kennesaw University.

Gainesville blew an 11-point third-quarter lead to put itself in a position that required a comeback. The Red Elephants led 48-37 with 1:35 left in the third period, only to see Effingham go on a 20-5 run and holed a 57-53 lead with 3:54 remaining.

The two sides traded leads, with Effingham going ahead 62-59 on two free throws by T.J. Johnson and a slam by Jakeenan Gant. Harrison scored on a drive to trim the lead to one and scored the winning basket after Effingham missed a pair of free throws with 19.4 seconds left.

Gainesville (23-9) was led by Shaquan Cantrell with 17 points and Deshaun Watson with 14. Chase England had 10 points and four rebounds before fouling out.

Effingham County (27-5) was led by Gant, who had 30 points and nine rebounds, and Jay Wright with 15 points.

Effingham looked like the better team early. The Rebels raced out to a 9-0 lead and had an 18-12 edge after one period. Gainesville eventually tied the game at 23-23 and led 32-30 at halftime. The Red Elephants had a 16-5 stretch in the third quarter, sparked by 3-pointers from Cantrell and Watson, and seemingly had control.

But Effingham began to take advantage of its size by pounding it inside. The Rebels scored eight straight at the line and tied it on a 3-pointer by Johnson with 5:27 left.

Gainesville (63): Harrison 9, Watson 14, Cantrell 17, England 10, Hayman 7, Maddox 4, Ruff 2.

Effingham County (62): Wilkins 6, Wright 15, Gant 30, Johnson 9, Lee 2.

Halftime: Gainesville 32-30

17 comments Add your comment

Sir Nupe A Lot

March 2nd, 2013
8:01 pm

Im not trying to get ahead of myself, but I really think that if anyone can upset Miller Grove in the Championship Game, it will be my alumni Gainesville High Red Elephants! I havent seen a team play TEAM ball like this in a while during there great State run! This is the same kind of ball that the Red Elephants football team was playing on there quest to a AAAAA State Football Championship in Nov-Dec! Miller Grove is a great team indeed, but everyone said that Effingham was the same way and you see what happened to them tonight! Effingham Co came into the game beating there opponents by a average of 30 points a game in tourney play, but Gainesville put a clamp on that there!!! All I have to say is that the AAAAA State Championship Game will be a great game next Friday night in Macon!

Left Coast Dawg

March 2nd, 2013
8:13 pm

Sir Nupe – you’ve been doing too much stepping if you think Effingham is in the same class as MG. your Elephants should be happy they get to play in championship game. State runner-up is not so bad considering it will be to a five-time champion.

Black

March 2nd, 2013
8:19 pm

Mule I’m with u, it will be toughness that will put the G over the edge! Don’t think MG will be able handle physical play

gainesville#1

March 2nd, 2013
8:47 pm

Big Red baby!!! Left Coast got it wrong…..they won’t be getting #6…5A has a new beast now…and its a Red Elephant!!!!!!!!

Annie

March 2nd, 2013
9:15 pm

Gainesville sure has stormed into region 5-A. Good luck, Gainesville against Miller Grove.

DawgPound Que

March 2nd, 2013
9:22 pm

Sir Nupe A Little,
I know you all are hoping that Gainesville puts a clamp on MG and pulls the upset… but like in the superbowl… Always bet on Purple!

Miller Grove will win this one… good, bad or ugly.

Black

March 2nd, 2013
9:31 pm

Looking at UCLA, TP should have went to UGA like BM. Never believe the hype!

SWD Lady Panther

March 2nd, 2013
10:55 pm

Take it from me a SWD fateful. We see them two to three times a year. Miller Grove is better than some college teams. Their bench is better than any team in Georgia. Do I think they can be beat, of course but it will not be next Friday. It pains me to say but will some college please lure Coach White away for Region 6. He is reeks too much havoc.

Left Coast Dawg

March 3rd, 2013
1:01 pm

@Gainsville fans – all I have to say is HAAAA HAAAAA HAAAAAAAA, it’s nice to have dreams.

itsonlywrite

March 3rd, 2013
1:51 pm

Miller Grove is good, but its not like they cant be beaten. As long as Gainesville plays solid defense, we got as good of a chance as any to dethrone the reigning champs… LETS GO BIG RED!!!! #ELEPHANTNATION

Snakedaddy

March 4th, 2013
7:26 pm

The theme song for Gainesville will be “Turn The Lights Out, The Party’s Over. It was a nice run but Like Boyz To Men Sang, It’s The End Of the Road for Gainesville. To be safe, you might wanna stick a fork in Gainesville because they are done.

MC 12

March 4th, 2013
7:42 pm

@snakedaddy – Always know your competition and the road they took to get where they are. They said we would not even make the playoffs in football because we moved up 2 classifications. Results : State Champions. They said we would not make the playoffs after losing the majority of our (basketball) games in the beginning of the season and he we are again in the championship game. NEVER DOUBT THE HEART OF A CHAMPION! Bring your hard hats this shoud be a Great Game.

itsonlywrite

March 4th, 2013
10:09 pm

@Snakedaddy .. Im tellin ya… dont be surprised … our theme song might be “Another One” by Slice 9 ft Future… lol

Snakedaddy

March 5th, 2013
6:04 pm

@MC 12 and itsonlywrite, Gainesville is full of tradition and is a powerhouse in all sports. But this time, Miller Grove will win. Like One Way sang in 1983, “So Afraid It’s Over” for Gainesville. There’s no shame in losing this game and there’s no disgrace in second place. When the smoke clears, evening will approach in Gainesville’s season and they will be numero segundo. .

Snakedaddy

March 5th, 2013
6:30 pm

Itsonlywrite Gainesville is the poultry capital of the world so Gainesville coach will treat coach White to a chicken dinner when Miller Grove is declared the winner

Left Coast Dawg

March 5th, 2013
6:56 pm

Like Brook Benton sang, “How Looong” before y’all realize Coach White and MG have created a Wooden-esque dynasty. I know Coach White would never admit to it but this team is loaded with non-senior talent and with his great coaching and motivation skills, who knows how many more championships this team will win after the one will take home this season.

ZMONEY

March 6th, 2013
7:57 pm

they should play doubleelimation in the semi round the best team didnt win this one. Keep it close and any team could win.