Desoto County Sports

Gutierrez three wins 6A state semifinal for Olive Branch over Terry 70-68.

Photo: Olive Branch guard Zahir Gutierrez sizes up the defense in first-half action Wednesday night against Terry. The Quistors won 70-68 in overtime. (Bob Bakken/

With the clock winding down in the overtime period and trailing 68-67, Olive Branch senior Zahir Gutierrez gets a pass to him near the left corner and promptly takes a last-second shot. That shot, from beyond the three-point line, sinks true into the basket just as the final buzzer sounds and gave the Conquistadors a 70-68 overtime victory over Terry in the MHSAA 6A state semifinals Wednesday night, Feb. 28.

For Gutierrez, it was the second attempt at a three-pointer in the game and his second made three pointer for six of his eight points for the night.  

But Gutierrez and Olive Branch coach Eric Rombaugh said the final play did not go as planned.  

“We thought they were gonna pick us up full court man and a little bit of pressure and so we had a play set up, but then they got back in the zone,” Rombaugh said.  “So, I was like,  just attack. It might look like I called that but I had nothing to do with that.”

Gutierrez said the whole last sequence was a blur of what happened to him,

“I saw my teammate and he looked at me and he trusted me,” Gutierrez said. “He trusted me to take that shot.”

However, the Conquistadors could have won the game in regulation, save for another last-second three-pointer, this time from Terry’s Jaden Harper to send the contest into bonus basketball tied at 60-60.  

Olive Branch opened the game with a 17-9 lead after one quarter but the Bulldogs opened the second quarter on a 13-0 run to take the lead at 22-17. Jerry Wall broke the run with a free throw, but Terry would regain the lead and take a 26-23 edge into the locker room at half time.  

The third quarter would go in favor of the Quistors, which led 47-40 heading into the final eight minutes of the game, but Terry rallied to get within 55-50 with 1:27 remaining, setting up the final shot from Harper to send the contest into overtime.  

In overtime, Wall hit a basket to give Olive Branch a 62-60 lead but he was also given a technical foul after the play, which would be his fifth foul of the game. With Wall out, the Bulldogs would sink both free throws on the technical and a basket gave them a 64-62 edge with less than two minutes remaining, 

Javion Stephen hit a three-point basket for Olive Branch that tied the overtime at 67-67 but a Terry free throw garnered them the one-point lead ahead of Gutierrez’ game-winning heroics.  

Stephen finished with 26 points in the victory. Wall, which Terry tried to stifle defensively after scoring 30 or more in the last two playoff games, finished with 21. Reece Garrison scored 10.  Avery Thomas finished with 31 points to lead the Bulldogs.  

Terry was trying to get to the state championship game for the first time in school history, but now Olive Branch, which won a state title in 2018, will be in its fourth state title tilt and first since 2022.  

The Quistors will play Ridgeland in the championship with game time at 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 2, inside the Mississippi Coliseum.  The Titans upset top-ranked Pascagoula 49-42 in the other semifinal contest Wednesday night.  

Ridgeland ousted Grenada and Center Hill to get to the semifinals.