Great Falls (S.C.)The media circus had dwindled during a five-game losing streak, but John Smith finally notched his milestone 900th coaching victory on Friday night as
posted an improbable 61-58 basketball victory over Lewisville (Richburg, S.C.).
Lewisville had crushed Great Falls 57-19 on Jan. 18.Mardre Dean
, a 5-10 junior guard, shared the spotlight with his coach by drilling a 3-point basket at the buzzer and was engulfed by jubilant fans who swarmed the court moments afterwards. Nigel Simpson
, a 5-4 sophomore guard, paced the attack with 22 points.
The 65-year-old coach told MaxPreps, "Nine hundred is great, don't get me wrong. I knew it was going to happen this year or next year. It was a distraction for the kids. It's one of those things that once you retire, you look back on and reflect."
Smith, who has won eight Class A state titles, including the last two, returned just one starter this year, 6-4 junior Jermarcus Culp
, and he broke his hand early in the season. His return on Friday night was a major boost, even though he scored just two free throws. His ball handling and passing enabled 6-2 sophomore Chris Culp
to score 16 points, mostly on layups.