A Blast from the Past that would Last and Ten Years After, I still remember it well: Stepping back in time, with James Stepp from Ragdale HS and going back to the night his Tigers played a Six OT game in the playoffs and Stepp pumped in 43 pts.

It was back in February of 2014 and 10 years later, the game and the name that made it CLICK in our memory bank, still live up there in our brain cells today…

It was today…

I called the insurance offices of Dakota Andrews in Jamestown, N.C., and was trying to reach that local State Farm Agent…But like my good neighbor, he was there, but Dakota was busy…

Reached out to the person in the office there, and asked him where they were located…He said near the Publix Store, as you come down Gate City Blvd. and head into the Jamestown area…

Near Ragsdale High School, I asked…Yes said The Good Neighbor Agent on the other end of the cell phone line…

Well I know the area well, I told the fellow…Told him I come out that way often to broadcast Ragsdale HS games…

Asked said listener if their offices were anywhere near the Sheetz Store, and he said YES, we are right behind the Sheetz in the small shopping center he told me…Near that Book buying store, I inquired, and ditto was his response…

The young man said he attended Ragsdale HS and so I asked if he played any sports at all, and he said he played basketball back back in high school…So I kept carrying this discovery mission a Step or two further…

I did play basketball in high school he said…Asked him if he maybe played for Coach Big Craig, as in Craig Shoemaker….He was my coach, said the former Ragsdale High School boys basketball player….

I proceeded to tell the young man about how I remembered a night around 8 years ago when Ragdale hit the road in the NCHSAA basketball playoffs and the Tigers ended up playing a game that went something like 3-4 Overtimes, and there was some kid that hit for 45 points, or something crazy like that…

Mentioned the fact that I had Coach Shoemaker and his 40-point player on my Basketball in Focus Show the next night, after the long game up in the mountains, and then the lights began to shine very bright….

The young man at the State Farm Insurance Office said I do remember that game…I was on that team, and the game went SIX Overtimes, and I was the kid that scored the 43 points, and it happened Ten Years Ago….And you interviewed me and Coach Shoemaker, that next night at Shane’s Rib Shack, on your Basketball in Focus Show…

Talk about a “Blast from the Past, that wouldn’t Last, but did….There you have it…Called that phone number looking for Dakota Andrews, and I found James Stepp…Stepping back in Time with James Stepp today, and it shows what can happen when you lay the groundwork for some good and solid Community Sports Coverage….

It never dies, this GreensboroSports Coverage that is reaching these kids, their coaches, and their families, LIVES ON FOREVER…

And the proof is in the pudding after that talk I had with James Stepp today…He stepped up and hit for 43 points over Five Overtimes back in 2014…He would have scored MORE points, but he fouled out headed to OT Six….

So you might say that Andy just took us down Memory Lane, and right into the traffic on a four-lane highway headed back down Highway 40 East, and he just created this story from his creative mind, that is always overflowing with those crazy creative juices….

Let me bring in former News and Record Sports Editor Eddie Wooten, to verify my post/article/story….

Tigers’ basketball season ends with a six-overtime loss.
By Eddie Wooten Feb 26, 2014

After the shots stopped falling, the tears started.

But before long, as the bus left the base of Old Fort Mountain near Marion to return to Jamestown in the middle of the night, the players on the Ragsdale High boys basketball team would dry those tears with perspective. That’s heady stuff for 16-, 17- and 18-year-olds who were just on the losing end of a six-over-time state playoff game that will be remembered as a North Carolina classic.

McDowell High’s Titans defeated the Tigers 111-104 in the first-round game Monday night, ending Ragsdale’s season and the high school basketball careers of five seniors.

“It was just a mind-blowing experience,” said senior James Stepp, whose career-best 43 points led the Tigers until he fouled out in the

final seconds of the fifth overtime. “Six overtimes. It was thrilling. It was the most exciting game I’ve ever played in.”

“I caught myself just sitting back and realizing, wow, this is pretty amazing,” he said Tuesday.

“Just sort of taking it in, almost. Still coaching, but being in a spectator mode, just realizing the moment while you’re in it. It was just pretty amazing.”

The players needed 56 minutes, or 24 more than in a regulation game, to determine who would advance to today’s second round of the NCHSAA Class 4-A tournament. Only five players scored for each team, with McDowell’s Raekwon Miller surpassing Stepp’s scoring with 48 points of his own.

McDowell needed a 3-pointer from Miller with less than 10 seconds left in regulation to keep playing.

Then it needed two free throws from Miller with 3.9 seconds left in the third overtime to keep playing.

In the fourth overtime, McDowell needed a shot at the buzzer to keep playing.

Ragsdale led 95-92 with nine seconds left, and McDowell had the length of the floor to go. Shoemaker consider having his team foul to prevent McDowell from attempting a 3-point shot. But the Tigers were in severe foul trouble. McDowell’s D.J. Martin eluded his defender at the top of the 3-point arc, and his shot as time expired tied the score.


So they played some more. And could this have been more fitting? At the end of five overtimes, with the scoreboard clock again showing zeroes, each team had 100 points. Neither was the winner.


With Stepp out of the game, the Tigers fell behind quickly in the sixth four-minute extra session. And Stepp and his mates on the bench began to realize how this was going to end.

“It was hard to watch,” he said, “us falling behind and me not being able to help out. And that this was the last game of my high school career. That was pretty hard to process.”

McDowell’s fans, after the buzzer sounded one last time, rushed onto the court to celebrate with their Titans. On Ragsdale’s end, “everyone was tearing up,” Stepp said.

Then both teams lined up for handshakes.

“They were nothing but a class act from the moment they walked into the gym until they left,” McDowell coach Brian Franklin said of the Tigers. “They really represented their school and their community.”

Said Shoemaker: “The respect for each other after that game was pretty neat to see.”

In the locker room, Shoemaker told his players how proud he was, then he let them take their time getting dressed. Before the team left Marion, the bus made a stop for fast food.

“Once we got to McDonald’s and were sort of able to take in all the things that happened,” Shoemaker said, “the guys realized this was a special game they were a part of.

“It definitely was a classic.”

McDowell News Sports Editor Marty Queen contributed to this report.