Brandon Stoudamire couldn't believe it.
Eyes fixed toward the ceiling and smiling in disbelief, the ball had just rolled out of bounds.
Stoudamire was all alone on a fast break with a chance to throw down a dunk in front of South Forsyth's student section in the final seconds of Thursday's game at Denmark. But the pass fell a couple of feet long, and all Stoudamire could do was laugh.
Little did he know his next chance would come seconds later.
Ethan Underwood took the ball off a Denmark turnover, found Stoudamire, who rose up through the air and threw down a mighty two-handed dunk — the exclamation point on South's 58-42 win against the Danes.
The win avenged South's 58-45 loss to Denmark on Dec. 15, which coincidentally marks the War Eagles' last loss. South is currently riding a 13-game winning streak.
"I think we came ready to play," South head coach Scott Givens said. "Last time we were a little flat and they jumped on us. Tonight we jumped on them. As a matter of fact, the first-quarter score was identical. At our place it was 21-7 in their favor. Here it was 21-7 in our favor."
That was just about the only similarity.
Devin McGlockton logged his second double-double this week, scoring 25 points and collecting 10 rebounds.
At one point in the third quarter, Denmark forward Joseph Scott found an opening along the baseline and had what appeared to be an easy layup, but McGlockton simply turned around and swatted the ball away from the rim.
It was one of four blocks for McGlockton, who played a pivotal role in holding Scott to only two points.
"Obviously we didn't have an answer for [McGlockton] tonight," Denmark head coach Tyler Whitlock said. "We'll have to go back and look at film. Hopefully we get another chance to play them in the region tournament, if we're lucky, and we'll just have a little bit better of a game plan for what he's doing. He played tremendous tonight. Obviously he's got his basketball legs back under him. He's a man on a mission."
Stoudamire had 14 points and seven rebounds for South, while Kohl Harris added 11 points.
Harris helped carry South into halftime with momentum when he knocked down a deep 3-pointer late in the second quarter. McGlockton got the defensive rebound after Denmark's ensuing possession, walked up to the top of the key and drained a 3-pointer to give the War Eagles a 35-19 lead.
Harris also had five assists on offense and made an impressive block in the third quarter on a Kourtland Tolbert 3-point attempt.
"Kohl Harris is playing much better," Givens said. "He's starting to score the ball better, and that takes us to a different level."
Denmark's offensive found its rhythm in the third quarter behind a pair of 3-pointers from Sutton Smith and Jackson Jeter. The Danes opened the quarter on a 14-3 run to make it a five-point game, but South answered with another McGlockton 3-pointer, then a trey from Wes Kane to open the fourth quarter pushed the lead out to 46-33.
Smith led Denmark with 14 points, with nine coming after halftime.
Jayden Hilliman scored six points and also played some big minutes in the paint with Scott in foul trouble. Hilliman led the Danes with six rebounds and also had a pair of blocks.
"He played very hard for us," Whitlock said. "He battled so well in the post once we got our act together a little bit. He battled very hard. He way key on the boards and defending Devin and Stoudamire ... unfortunately you can't win a game with just one guy.
"You've got to give it to South. They came ready to play. They played with heart and they never backed down. I think they beat us pretty bad on the boards, which is a sign that a team just wants it more."
South rebounded Denmark by a 25-16 margin.
South (19-3, 9-1 Region 6-7A) remains atop the region and will host Forsyth Central at 7:30 p.m. Monday. Denmark (13-8, 6-3 Region 6-7A) is tied for second with Gainesville and will travel to Lambert at 7:30 p.m. Friday before a rematch with the Red Elephants on Monday.
South, which won a home playoff game last year for the first time in program history, is aiming for home-court advantage for the postseason, but Givens hopes to see the War Eagles clean up their free-throw shooting.
"We've got to shoot free throws better. That's one thing we've got to do, is we've got to shoot free throws better," Givens said. "We were 7 of 15 tonight, so we've got to do a better job shooting free throws. That's been an issue with us all year. Last game we were 6 of 11 and the game before that we were 6 of 12. I don't know, it's kind of weird. I can't explain it. That's one thing we've got to do a better job of. You get in these close games where it's more ramped up, region or state tournament, and you're going to need to make free throws."