DASHER -- For the second time in less than three weeks, Georgia Christian's boys had the region's best team on the ropes but failed to deliver a knockout blow.
The Generals dropped an overtime thriller, 78-75, their second overtime game this week, Friday to GISA Region 3-AA unbeaten Randolph Southern at Elrod Gymnasium.
The Patriots, 19-1 on the season, now have a firm hold on the top spot in the region, while Georgia Christian (8-6, 3-2 region) is two games back in second place.
"They're scrappy, but we played them tough," said Generals' head coach Robert Jeffords, whose team lost to the Patriots 64-61Jan. 4 in Shellman. "I hope to see them again in the region tournament."
Georgia Christian's Dustin Jeffords, who scored a game-high 28 points, knotted the game at 67-all with 1:29 left in overtime by sinking 1-of-2 free throws. Jeffords picked up his fifth foul of the game 31 seconds later while Randolph Southern went on a 7-0 run to take a 74-64 lead with 40 seconds to play.
"He's a big impact player," Robert Jeffords said of his son, Dustin, a sophomore. "He probably could have helped us but we were down by then and they were shooting free throws."
The Generals rallied in the final half minute with threes from Austin Plyler and Mike Martin. With six seconds left, Austin Guthrie was fouled shooting a three and then hit 2-of-3 free throws to cut the Patriots lead to 77-75.
Randolph Southern's Josh Callaway hit 1-of-2 free throw attempts on the other end to give the Patriots a three-point lead and then Walker Sloan's desperation three with one second left fell just short for Georgia Christian.
"They're senior-laden and I think that really made a difference tonight," Jeffords, who had three sophomores on the court at times Friday, said of Randolph Southern. "We had chances man. We kind of let this one slip away."
The Generals got 16 points from Nathan Renfro, who sent the game to overtime by hitting a driving layup and drawing a foul, which he converted on by hitting a free throw to tie the game at 64-64 with 40 seconds left in regulation.
Chad Yoder led the Patriots with 26 points, while Dale Boyett added 21.
GCS girls 56, Randolph Southern 46
A worn out Lady Generals team had enough left in the tank Friday to pull out a 56-46 win over Randolph Southern Friday at home.
"We had three games this week, plus we had two conditioning days, so I knew they would be a little tired," Lady Generals head coach Philip Guthrie said. "They showed some guts because even though they were dead tired they got out there and got it done."
Tied at 45-all with 3:50 to play, Georgia Christian (11-6, 7-1 region) went on an 11-1 run to close out the game.
Nicole Renfro, who led the Lady Generals with 20 points, scored 10 of those points in the fourth quarter to help keep Georgia Christian just one game out of first place in the region behind Terrell Academy, who handed GCS its only region loss Jan. 14.
Georgia Christian's girls get their rematch with Terrell Feb. 1 at home.
Ashley Carter added 11 points for the Lady Generals, while Susan Hampton scored eight. Randolph Southern was led by Samantha Worth's 20 points.
Georgia Christian returns to the court Tuesday at Westwood.