Spalding (7-9 overall, 4-6 subregion) — which has now lost five of its last six — looked poised early on to parlay the success from an 82-73 upset victory 72 hours earlier at third-place North Clayton into a winning streak as it led the last-place Knights 19-17 at the end of the first quarter, 36-27 at the half and 47-44 going into the fourth quarter.
The Knights (8-8, 4-6), however, had other ideas as they rallied to force overtime, 62-all, where they won a shootout against the Jaguars. Team co-leading scorer O'Qualen Harris led the way scoring nine of his team's 17 points in overtime. Brittian nearly matched him scoring seven of his team's 14 points in the extra frame.
However, when the dust settled Spalding found itself on the wrong end of a 79-76 score.
Upson-Lee, which led for most of the final four minutes in regulation, could only watch as Spalding tied it twice during that stretch, first 57-all on a put back by Thrash with 2:52 left and then 62-all on a pair of free throws by Brittian with :32.6.
Upson-Lee, which missed 6 of 13 fourth-quarter free throws (Spalding made 5 of 7 during the same stretch), still had the ball and the clock with :32.6 to go. Nonetheless, after a turnover — the Knight's guard dribbled the ball off his foot and it went out of bounds — with 8.7 seconds left, Spalding had the last decent chance to end it in regulation but sailed a shot out of bounds with 1.3 seconds left.
The Knights managed to get off a desperation shot from just before half court that missed the mark sending the game overtime.
There Spalding scored first in the four-minute overtime period on a layup by Brittian with 2:52 left to play. Then Harris and company went to work, outscoring Spalding 17-12 the rest of the way to snap a three-game losing streak.
The game's other leading scorers included Upson-Lee's Kordarius Pannyman (18 points), Travis Pittman (15) and Toby Fuentes (12) as well as Spalding High's Xeryous Dewberry (10).
Spalding will try to get back into the hunt with a game Tuesday at home against second-place Riverdale before traveling Friday to take on first-place Jonesboro on Friday and coming back home Saturday to take on crosstown rival and fourth-place Griffin.