It felt like the longest two seconds in sports.
With just two ticks remaining on the clock, Greenville Christian star forward D.J. Smith pulled down what should have been the game-sealing rebound and fell to the floor after being fouled with his Saints up 66-63 over MAIS Class 5A powerhouse Madison-Ridgeland Academy in Tuesday’s Overall title game at Hartfield Academy.
But then a GCS teammate rushed from the bench onto the court for a premature celebration, resulting in a technical.
After a lengthy video review, Smith (33 points, 13 rebounds) attempted two free throws for the initial foul call, missing both, and Patriots star Josh Hubbard (36 points, eight boards) split a pair of technical free throws at the opposite charity stripe. Now down by two, MRA proceeded to convert a game-tying putback on the final possession to force overtime at the buzzer.
Smith, who transferred from Greenwood High last fall, couldn’t engineer another comeback in the final four minutes after helping erase a 16-point deficit in the second half. The Saints (24-1) suffered their first loss of the season, 77-72, to the Patriots, who secured their 13th Overall crown and first title since 2018.
It marks the first loss in over a calendar year for Smith, a two-sport standout who led Greenwood to a MHSAA 4A basketball title last spring before carrying GCS to a MAIS Class 3A football championship in the fall.
Leflore County transfer Kerrick Ross provided a spark off the bench in the second half with two 3-pointers and tough defense on Hubbard, who exploded for 27 points on 10-for-10 shooting in the first half but cooled off after halftime.