WARNER ROBINS -- Jamaal Garmon was anything but pleasant in his halftime speech to his Warner Robins boys basketball team Friday night.
After watching a sloppy performance in the first half, Garmon said he nearly broke his hand and/or a school desk before laying into his team for a weak performance against rival Northside. The Demons’ head coach watched his team give up 22 points in the first six minutes of the game and eventually fall behind by 11 at the half against a Northside team it defeated to win the Jones County holiday tournament championship a week ago.
“I let them know I wasn’t very happy with them, and I probably didn’t say it in the nicest way,” Garmon said.
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The Demons (8-5, 1-0 GHSA Region 1-AAAA) stepped up with an energetic effort in front of a capacity crowd to knock off the Eagles 86-79 in overtime.
Juvuan Shine scored 15 points of his 26 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, including converting a four-point play that essentially ended the game in overtime. Jalen Rountree added 23 for the Demons, while Jarius Smith led the Eagles (8-5, 0-1) with 14.
Northside led by 10 with just less than seven minutes to play in the game following a 3-pointer by Mike Smith. The Eagles, however, turned the ball over on their next four possessions, and the Demons went on a 10-0 spurt in 68 seconds to tie the game on a Rountree basket with 5:21 to play.
Neither team led by more than two until an intense final 84 seconds that saw dueling 3-pointers, first by Northside’s Devon Tanner, then an answer by Shine and finally one by Jarius Smith to push the Eagles out in front by three with 43 seconds left. The raucous crowd erupted with each shot, raising the decibel level in the small gym each time.
Some shaky ball handling by the Eagles helped the Demons tie the game when Shine made a pair of free throws after getting fouled heading to the rim for a layup with 32 seconds to play.
Shine had one last chance to win the game in regulation when he took a deep three as a defender collided with him at the buzzer.
“Yeah, I thought I got hit pretty hard,” Shine said. “But, you just have to regroup and get focused for overtime.”
The teams traded baskets in overtime until Shine’s four-point play put the Demons ahead by five points with 1:35 to play.
“That was a huge play the difference at the end,” Garmon said. “He was getting beat up all night pretty good, but he hung tough and made some clutch shots.”
The Northside girls knocked off the Demonettes with a fourth-quarter surge in a 54-50 victory.
The Lady Eagles (11-3, 1-0) trailed by as many as nine in the third quarter before an offensive spurt and poor Warner Robins foul shooting helped them tie the game early in the fourth quarter.
They pulled away with a pair of 3-pointers by Jasmine Wilson and the Demonettes (9-4, 0-1) never got closer than three points during the final four minutes of the game.
Warner Robins head coach Tom Mobley said he stayed in a zone defense a little too long, and the Northside shooters made him pay.
A Diamond Hudson 3-pointer eventually pulled the Demonettes to within three with seven seconds left, but Cierra Gordon made a free throw made it a two-possession game.
“When they are open, I tell them to shoot, and the shots started falling,” Northside head coach Casaundra Wilson said. “They stayed pretty composed with this atmosphere, and I hope when can build on some momentum in region play.”