Harris, Former Liberty Coach And Educator Dies
Family and friends filled into the Midway Middle School Gymnasium on January 18 to remember former Liberty County coach and educator Samuel B. Harris, who died on Jan. 12 at his Midway residence at the age of 84.
In 1963, Harris started teaching biology at the old Liberty County High School. He also coached the boys’ basketball team. In 1965, the Liberty County boys’ basketball team won the GIA Class A state championship and in 1966 they were state runner-up. In 1969, Harris transferred to Bradwell Institute where he taught biology and coached basketball and football. He became assistant principal in 1972 and worked faithfully until his retirement in 1996.
A 1960 graduate of Savannah State where he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Harris was also officiated high school sporting events as a member of the Hinesville Officials Association. In 2007 he was honored by the Georgia High School Association for 45 years of service and in 2004 Harris was inducted into the inaugural class of the Hinesville Hall of Fame Association. In October 2019, Harris was awarded the E.B. Cooper Educational Leadership Award by the Liberty County NAACP at their annual banquet.
Jim Golden, who spent over 40 years as Chatham County’s director of parks, recreation and cultural affairs, died on January 23 at Candler Hospital. He was 84.
A two-sport athlete at Beach High, Golden attended Kentucky State on an athletic scholarship where he played football and ran track. In 1955 while at KSU, Golden was the All American Midwestern broad jump champion, was second in All American Midwestern discus, and was the captain of the track team. He holds the KSU broad jump record of 24 feet, 10.5 inches.
Golden was inducted into the Kentucky State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1978 and into the Greater Savannah Athletic Hall of Fame in 1979.
During his time as director of Chatham County’s parks and recreation, Golden oversaw several projects such as the development of Lake Mayer Park, Scott Stell Park, Jim Golden Sports Complex, McQueens Trail, Tybee Island Pier, and Tom Triplett Park.
Funeral services for Golden, who was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, will be Jan. 30 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Church.
Darryl Walls, a former linebacker at Savannah State passed away on January 9 at age 59.
Walls came to SSU from Macon to play for the Tigers from 1979-82. After leaving SSU Walls joined the US Army where he stayed for six years.
Funeral services were held Jan.17 at the Georgia Veterans Memorial Chapel in Milledgeville. Walls was buried at the Georgia Veterans Cemetery.
Tigers On Winning Streak
Savannah State scored over a 100 points in a regular season game for the first time this season in a 108-98 double overtime victory over Benedict in a game played on January 25 in Tiger Arena. The last time SSU scored 100 points in a regular season game was a 105-95 home win over Middle Georgia State on November 11, 2018.
In the win over Benedict, Marcus Scott scored a career-high 29 points as he made six 3-pointers. Scott’s 3-pointer with seven tenths of a second left in regulation tied the game at 75-75 to force overtime.
SSU trailed by seven with just under four minutes remaining in the second half and made a late charge to send the game into an extra period. In the first overtime, Savannah State led 83-79 but were outscored 6-2 during the final 1:55 to force a second overtime. During the second overtime, SSU came out with a 10-2 run and never looked back as they won their third game in a row.
Zion Williams had a double-double with 14 points and 13 assists for the Tigers. Trey Deloach had 25 points and seven rebounds, Rico Bonds scored 19 points and Andrew Okorodudu pulled down 14 rebounds.
Savannah State topped Clark Atlanta 72-59 in Atlanta on Jan. 20. The Tigers jumped out to a 25-3 lead to open the game and led by 14 at the half. In the second period, CAU used a 12-2 run to whittle a 15 point deficit down to 61-56 with 5:27 left. The Panthers would not get any closer as SSU closed the game with a 11-3 run.
Avery Joyner came off the bench to lead SSU with 17 points. Bonds had 14 points, Deloach added 13 points and eight rebounds while Okorodudu had 10 rebounds.
SSU Women Beat CAU
The Savannah State women’s basketball team overcame a ten point deficit in the third quarter and went on to defeat Clark Atlanta 77-74 in a game played in Atlanta on January 20.
SSU trailed 48-38 with 6:06 left in the third quarter but used a 15-0 run to take the lead. The game was knotted at 67-67 with 4:39 remaining in the fourth quarter. SSU responded with a layup by Amari Heard followed by jumpers by Azhana Maxwell and Le’Andrea Gillis to grab a 73-67 advantage with just over two minutes left.
Gillis ended the game with 18 points, seven steals, seven rebounds and four assists while Maxwell added 16 points and six rebounds and Heard contributed 14 points and six rebounds.
The game was a homecoming for SSU assistant Julie Johnson who played guard on what was then known as the Clark College women’s basketball team in the early 1980s.
On Jan. 25, the Lady Tigers ran into a buzzsaw when they faced Benedict at home. Benedict, who entered the game ranked 17th in the latest Division II WBCA poll, won 92-62.
SSU trailed by five after one quarter of play and trailed by one early in the second quarter before the visiting Tigers went on a 18-5 run and never looked back.
Heard led Savannah State (9-5, 4-5 SIAC) with 20 points, nine rebounds and four steals while Gillis had 12 points and Alexus Bryant chipped in 11 points.
SSU head coach Cedric Baker was the head coach at Benedict before coming to Savannah State. Baker coached Benedict for three seasons (2000-03) and had a 55-29 record.
Benedict reserve guard Jazmin Grayson played six minutes for the visitors. The former Woodville Tompkins star had her own cheering section which include family members, former teammates, coach Jeff Roberson and principal Alfred McGuire.