VALDOSTA -- Valdosta High rallied from 13 points down to defeat Coffee High 63-59 in overtime Tuesday night.
Down 13 entering the fourth quarter of a game its opponent appeared to have wrapped up, Valdosta outscored the Trojans 35-18 over the final 12 minutes to totally turn around the game.
"Man, what a win," Valdosta head coach John Miller said. "To be down 13 going into the fourth quarter, and then to come back and win like that is amazing.
"These players could have just given up and laid down, but they didn't. They just kept battling, and got us back in the game. Then they won it."
Johnny Mobley's two free throws gave Valdosta the lead with 22 seconds left in overtime. Then the Wildcats sealed the victory in the final seconds when Valdosta's Robert Boyd knocked the ball away from Coffee's Maurice Edmonds, and right to Chauncey Jones for an easy basket as the buzzer sounded.
"I can't say enough about how these kids played," Miller said. "Like I said, they just battled, and brought us back into the game."
When the Wildcats took the court to start the fourth quarter, they trailed 41-28. But things changed quickly, thanks to a determined group of Wildcats.
First, Mobley hit a jumper and Travis Turner made a three-pointer. Later in the period, Mobley made a layup, Carlton Williams nailed a three-pointer, then Mobley nailed two threes in a row, cutting the lead to 47-44 with 2:48 to go.
Valdosta was still down by three with 30 seconds left. Boyd drove inside for a basket, making it 49-48 Coffee. Coffee then committed a lane violation on a free throw attempt, and Valdosta got the ball back.
Turner beat his defender on the inbounds pass, rushed downcourt, and found Mobley open in the corner behind the arc. Mobley launched the three-pointer, and with 14 seconds left, it went in, giving Valdosta its first lead since the first quarter, 51-49.
Coffee quickly got the ball downcourt for an Edmonds basket, though, and sent the game into overtime, 51-51.
In overtime, Kevin Harris' three-pointer gave the Trojans an early lead. But the Trojans, now 17-4, made just one more shot the rest of the game.
Trailing 56-55 with 2:05 left, after a timeout, Turner got the inbounds pass. Unguarded, Turner launched a three-pointer. It went in, and VHS led 58-56.
Valdosta then had a chance to put the game away, but went cold at the free throw line. Turner missed three straight. Boyd also missed a free throw, then Mobley missed one before making the second one.
"Man, I don't know how we came back and won shooting free throws as bad as we did," Miller said.
Coffee's Devon Edwards countered with a three-pointer, tying the score again, 59-59. Then Mobley was fouled trying to drive the lane. This time, he made both shots, giving his team the lead again.
Harris and Tony DeBerry both missed three-pointers for Coffee. Valdosta's Cedric Hill grabbed the second miss and was fouled with five seconds left. Hill missed both free throws, and Edmonds grabbed the rebound. But Boyd slipped in behind him, and knocked the ball to Jones under the basket for the game-clincher.
Mobley led Valdosta with 23 points, 16 of those in the final 12 minutes. Jones scored six of his 13 points in overtime.
The win put Valdosta (14-6, 3-4 Region 1-AAAAA) alone in fourth place in the region, after Colquitt County lost to Tift County.
Lady Wildcats 42, Coffee 35
Valdosta's girls fought off a feisty Lady Trojans team Tuesday.
Elis King led three Lady Wildcats in double figures with 13 points, and Valdosta (12-8, 3-4) stepped up its defense in the final minutes to hold off Coffee for a big region win.
To win, the Lady Wildcats needed production from all five starters. They got it.
"I preach to them that we have to play good team basketball to win," Valdosta head coach Deidre Williams said. "This was a team win, because we played as a team."
Valdosta led 31-25 going into the fourth quarter, then saw Coffee cut its lead to 32-31. The teams traded baskets twice, and the Lady 'Cats held a 36-35 le
ad with 3:50 to play.
Then Valdosta turned up the intensity of its defensive pressure. The move worked-- Coffee would not score again.
King then scored five of Valdosta's final six points to seal the victory.
Jessica Moore added 11 points and Freda Davis had 10.
"We had balanced scoring tonight," Williams said. "With our system, we need to have several players scoring for us."
Valdosta led 14-5 after one quarter and 20-15 at halftime.