With 7.3 seconds left, Buford sophomore Chandler Hall missed the second of two free throws, leaving the score at 47-44. But after securing the rebound, Columbia lost the ball out of bounds while hoping to move the ball up the floor and tie things with a 3-pointer.
Senior Tara Dambach nailed two foul shots with 3.7 remaining to seal the Lady Wolves’ fourth win in four meetings with Columbia.
Shamiah Smith scored 19 points and fellow senior Yaktavia Hickson added 18 to lead the Lady Eagles’ near comeback.
“They are leaders of team and played a great game,” Columbia girls’ basketball coach Carla Hollaway said. “I think they will take something from this game for the rest of the season.”
After trailing by seven points at the start of the fourth quarter and then seeing that margin stretch to 10, the Lady Eagles got a key 3-pointer from Hickson and a pair of layups by Smith to highlight an 11-3 run before Hall’s foul shot.
“I believe if we would’ve played the whole game like we played that last four minutes of the game, I think it would’ve been a totally different game,” Hollaway said. “But they really scouted us well and it was a great game that we can look at and grow from.”
The contest was also close for the entire first half and part of the third quarter until Buford pulled away with a 10-3 burst to cap the frame.
“We were taking a lot of threes when we should’ve been attacking the basket,” said Hollaway, whose team registered just six points in the third. “We bailed them out by the shots that we took.”
Camille Anderson, who made four 3-pointers, led Buford with 16 points.
This Friday, the Lady Eagles will try to bounce back at home against Miller Grove.