A gymnasium filled to capacity watched a series that lie dormant since 1953 resume. Griffin (4-5), which lost its second in the last three games this season, had the upper hand early leading 12-9 at the end of the first quarter, 25-20 at the half and then 29-20 after baskets by Shaq Barber and Trae Critten 2:36 into the third quarter.
However, that’s when Spalding head coach Cecil Spear called a timeout. The Jags immediately responded as Brandon Gaughren and GHS transfer Terrell Love hit baskets and Willie Hamm made a free throw to leave their team trailing by only four, 29-25, heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth, Spalding tied it 31-all on a basket by Love with 5:41 to play and took its first lead, 33-31, since early in the first quarter on a basket by Jester with 4:32 left on a feed from Hamm. They later added another point on a free throw by DeAndre Sims.
Griffin, however, battled back to tie it 34-all on a putback by Azavier Morgan with :52 to play before SHS scored eventual game-winning points on a basket by Gilbert with about :30 to play.
Thereafter, Griffin tried a three from the corner that missed. Jester secured the rebound and missed the front end of a one-and-one opportunity, but Griffin could not connect on another three point shot or a medium- range jumper as time expired.
Griffin was led by Oscar Moore’s 10 points and Barber’s nine. Spalding, which has won three in a row, improved to 7-1 with the non-region win.
While Griffin doesn’t play again until a Jan. 6 at home against Alcovy, Spalding plays in a Holiday tournament Monday at Tuesday at Crawford County. The Jags tipoff 5:30 p.m., Monday against Central Talbotton to open the tournament. The Lady Jags open the tournament, at the same venue, in a 4 p.m., tipoff against Brunswick.