Late free throws end Quitman's dream

By By Jeff Byrd/staff writer
Feb. 20, 2002
QUITMAN Two free throws by A.J. Oliver with 0.2 seconds left on the clock lifted visiting Terry past Quitman 50-48 here Tuesday night in a first round 4A playoff game.
The loss ends a dramatic, turnaround season for coach Steve Hampton's Quitman Panthers, who overcame a 3-13 start to win the Division 5-3A title. Quitman won 10 of its last 12 games. They finish with a 13-15 record.
Quitman appeared to be in position to pull the upset when Jonathan McCarty stuck a 12-foot jumper for a 45-41 lead with four minutes to go.
Terry hurt itself by missing two straight one-and-ones. But Quitman rushed a couple of shots on its end and Terry finally got a basket by Jarrett Brown to get within two at 45-43 with 1:45 to play.
Jamie Mack then tied it at 45-45 when he sank a moving 15-foot jumper with 1:03 left.
Quitman's Lorenzo White looked to have a clear shot at the go-ahead basket but his shot was swatted away, leading to a Terry fast-break. On the kick-out, Patrick Horton drained his only three-pointer of the night to hand Terry a 48-45 lead wtih 26 seconds left.
Quitman answered with Marcus McCormick hitting a tying three-pointer off a set play with five seconds left to make it 48-48.
Terry went downcourt. The ball got to the lane where Oliver was fouled on a near-last second attempt at the basket.
Oliver went to line with a two-shot foul. If he made one, the game was all but over. Quitman's only hope would be to hit a tip-in off a length of the court pass.
Oliver calmly made the first free throw. The second was even easier to make it 50-48.
The Panther inbound pass was stolen at mid-court to seal the game.
Terry started the game in a zone but the Panthers shot them out of it by hitting three, three-pointers in the quarter to take a 15-12 lead.
Terry came back to tie it at 18-all, but Jason Pearson remained hot for the Panthers. He made two straight shots including a shot from the top of the key to hand Quitman a 25-21 halftime lead.
Mack scored six of his 18 points to start the third quarter and the result was a 27-27 tie. It would be tied twice more in the quarter, the last at 35-35 at quarter's end.
Another trey by Pearson put the Panthers back up 40-37. Pearson capped his sensational game by making a conventional three-point play with 5:44 left to make it 43-39.
Pearson finished with a game high 19 points. McCormick had 14 and Lorenzo White chipped in 14.
Terry got additional scoring help from Jarrett Brown, Patrick Horton and James Kendrick had nine each.