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Crisp County splits with Fitzgerald at Turner Christmas Tournament

ASHBURN- The Crisp County basketball teams opened up their play in the Turner County Christmas tournament with games against Fitzgerald on Thursday afternoon. Fitzgerald defeated the Lady Cougars, while the Crisp boys’ team was able to pull out a win in an overtime thriller.

Jelissa Reese opened up the scoring in the girls’ game, but Fitzgerald took control of the game shortly after with a 12-0 scoring run. Diamond King and Janiah White also scored in the quarter for the Lady Cougars, but Crisp County trailed 18-8 entering the second quarter.

Fitzgerald added to their lead with another big scoring run early in the second quarter. Diamond King scored seven points in the second quarter for the Lady Cougars, but the Lady Hurricanes led 36-18 at halftime.

A low scoring third quarter helped Fitzgerald add to the lead slightly. Jelissa Reese, Chadaya Miller and Alexis Henderson scored for Crisp in the third quarter. Fitzgerald had the lead 46-26 at the end of the quarter.

Fitzgerald finished the game off for a 64-44 win after a high scoring fourth quarter. Jelissa Reese led the Lady Cougars in scoring with 18 points. Diamond King finished with 13 points and Chadaya Miller scored eight.

Fitzgerald got out to a 5-0 start in the boys’ game, but the Cougars controlled the remainder of the first quarter as they outscored the Purple Hurricanes 19-7 over the next few minutes. Malik Hall scored nine points for Crisp County in the quarter, while RJ Chambliss tacked on eight. The Cougars had a 19-12 lead at the end of the quarter.

Fitzgerald then outscored the Cougars 16-11 in the second quarter. PJ Coleman, KJ Williams, Alex Harvey, and RJ Chambliss all scored to keep Crisp County in the lead 30-28 going into the halftime break.

The two teams exchanged the lead a few times in a wild third quarter that included a dunk by Alex Harvey. KJ Williams, Malik Hall, RJ Chambliss, PJ Coleman, and Trey Griffin also scored for the Cougars in the quarter. Crisp County held onto a 49-47 lead entering the fourth quarter.

The Purple Hurricanes started the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run to go up 55-49. KJ Williams scored the next five points, including a crucial three-pointer, to bring the Cougars within one point about halfway through the quarter. The teams subsequently traded scores over the next few minutes.

The Cougars trailed 65-61 with less than a minute remaining. Trey Griffin made a free throw with about 30 seconds remaining to cut the Fitzgerald lead to three points. Fitzgerald missed several free throws down the stretch, which gave the Cougars one final opportunity to send the game to overtime, and Griffin delivered a clutch three-pointer to tie the score with less than two seconds remaining in the game. The teams entered overtime tied at 65.

The Cougars scored the first bucket of overtime to briefly take the lead, but Fitzgerald countered with a 6-0 scoring run to take a 71-67 lead. RJ Chambliss took over the game from there and scored the next six points for the Cougars to tie the score at 73-73. The Cougars got the ball back with less than 14 seconds left in the overtime period, and Chambliss then drew a foul with 1.3 seconds left. He missed the first free throw, but made the second, which turned into the eventual game winner after Fitzgerald turned the ball over on the following possession.

Chambliss finished the game as the leading scorer for the Cougars with 19 points. Malik Hall ended up with 16 points, while KJ Williams had 13, and Alex Harvey was also in double figures with 11.

Both Crisp teams will play their final games of the Turner County Christmas Tournament on Saturday afternoon, and then they will prepare for next weeks region opener against Cook County.