The Shaw boys basketball team was 5.4 seconds away from advancing to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. A buzzer-beating three-pointer by Morrow that forced overtime and an empty attempt at a last-second shot by Shaw in the extra period was enough to end the Raiders season in the first round.
The Mustangs rallied for a 57-55 victory over Shaw, ending the Raiders season.
“I don’t know what to say,” Shaw coach Terry White said after the game. “That’s not how you want your season to end. Closing out has been a real Achilles’ heel for us. I think we started to play not to lose instead of playing to win. But that’s life. I think they gave it their best effort.”
Morrow advances to the second round where it will meet the winner of Salem and Allatoona.
The Raiders had led the majority of their game against Morrow on Wednesday at Shaw, though they had never taken complete control of the game. But with under 10 seconds left and two fouls to give, they were as close as they could get to hanging on for a slim victory.
Shaw successfully committed the first foul to force Morrow to inbound the ball with just 5.4 seconds left and another foul to give for the Raiders.
The second attempt didn’t go as well. The Morrow ball handler evaded Devan Porter-Wilson’s outstretched fingers and passed the ball to Levitiscus Glover, who had already scored 21 points and knocked down three three-pointers in the game. Glover connected for a fourth as the buzzer sounded to force overtime, during which Morrow outscored Shaw 4-2 to win 57-55.
Shaw had an opportunity to force a second overtime or win the game outright with just two seconds remaining in overtime, but couldn’t get a shot to fall.
The Raiders had chances to pull away even earlier, as well. Twice, they led by six points with momentum, but were unable to do quite enough on Glover. Each time the Raiders threatened to pull away, Glover would do enough to get the Mustangs back in it. He finished with a game-high 24 points.
“We knew he could shoot the ball going into the game,” White said. “I felt like we did a good job on him most of the time. At the end, he had just enough time to get a shot off.”
Cam Paulding led Shaw in the game with 15 points, 12 of which came in the first half. His final two points of the second quarter came in emphatic fashion as he caught a pass and dunked with authority just as the buzzer sounded. Jarquez Brown added 12 points for the Raiders.
Two of Shaw’s top scorers, Dakeen Diaz and Kourtney Shakespeare, faced strong defensive pressure all night and were held to just 11 points combined in the game.
The loss ended a season in which Shaw, which struggled to just eight wins last year, won 19 games and within a few points of winning a region title. In the end, the Raiders fell just short again.
“You can second guess yourself to death,” White said. “Sometimes you feel like you overcoach. It just didn’t fall our way, but it was a great year.”
Wednesday at Shaw
Morrow 12 14 20 7 4—57
Shaw 15 15 12 11 2—55
Levitiscus Glover 24, Shinka-Parris 9, Henderson 8, Drew 6, Carter 3, Brown 3, Lovelace 2, Lewis 2.
Cam Paulding 15, Jarquez Brown 12, Parker 6, Diaz 6, Porter-Wilson 6, Shakespeare 5, Hicks 3, Martin 2.
Records: Morrow, 22-7; Shaw, 19-10. Next: Morrow, Saturday vs. Salem/Allatoona in Class 5A second round; Shaw, season over.