The Redan Raiders won its first DeKalb County Middle School boys’ basketball title by rallying from a second half deficit to win 51-46 in overtime over the Chapel Hill Panthers.
Chapel Hill (14-3) went up 40-34 on a three-pointer from the left corner by sixth grader Just Taylor to open the fourth quarter and seemed to have the momentum.
Tristan Mitchell had other ideas for Redan as he pulled the Raiders (16-1) within 40-38 on a deep three-pointer with 2:53 remaining in the game.
Braylon Carter made it 42-38 on Chapel Hill’s next possession and then Redan’s Collin Young stepped up with a three from the left wing to pull his Raiders within 42-41 with 2:06 to play.
The two teams traded possessions without scores and then Mitchell was fouled on a drive to the basket with 48 seconds to play. He hit one of two free throws to knot the game at 42-42.
Chapel Hill played for the last shot, but Redan’s defense forced a tough shot that was blocked, and time ran out.
Redan took its first lead since early in the third quarter as Kaiden Watson made a steal and laid it up for a 44-42 lead that was short-lived as Makhi Lombard got an offensive put back for the Panthers.
Mitchell and Carter traded layups and the game was tied 46-46 with 1:27 to play. Mitchell and the Raiders broke the tie with 58 seconds to play as he found De’Errick Cole underneath for a basket to give Redan the lead for good.
Chapel Hill failed to score, and Mitchell was fouled and hit the first of his one-and-one to make it 49-46. His miss on the second one went out of bounds off of Chapel Hill and the Panthers were forced to foul Mitchell again with 18 seconds left.
Mitchell sank both free throws for the final of 51-46.
Mitchell finished the game as the Most Valuable Player after scoring 26 points and grabbing 8 rebounds. De’Erick Cole finished with 7 points and 9 rebounds and Kaiden Watson added 6 points and 10 rebounds for the Raiders.
Nazir Mergan had 15 points (5 rebounds) to lead Chapel Hill while Braylon Carter and Just Taylor had 10 points each. Makhi Lombard finished with 8 points and 9 rebounds for the Panthers.