The Cedartown High School Lady Bulldogs basketball team has not had many close games this season. On Thursday, that came back to haunt them.
Playing at home in a non-region game, the Lady Bulldogs blew a late lead and eventually lost in overtime to Coahulla Creek 47-43.
"I thought defensively and offensively we played a great game," head coach Johna Tidwell said. "We came out to play, we hustled and we executed plays, we've just got to learn how to deal with critical situations."
Thanks to a strong fourth quarter offensive output by Allie Gravitt (10 points in the quarter) and the strong defense play of Arkeria Boozer - who caused numerous turnovers with her backcourt pressure on ball handlers - Cedartown led 40-36 with under a minute to go.
The Lady Colts would make two free throws with 53 seconds left to cut the Lady Bulldogs lead to 40-38. Cedartown missed two free throws with 48 seconds left, and then the two teams exchanged turnovers.
After another Coahulla Creek turnover, Cedartown's Lexy Barnett would make a free throw with 27 seconds left to give the Lady Bulldogs a 41-38 advantage.
However, a Lady Colts player would drain a three-pointer from near the top of the key with 11 seconds left in regulation to tie the contest at 41.
The Lady Bulldogs would be able to bring the ball back down the court, but they were unable to get a shot off before the buzzer sounded, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra period, Coahulla Creek outscored Cedartown 6-2 to win the non-region game.
"At the end a lack of discipline on offense and defense hurt us," Tidwell said.
Cedartown (2-16) had five different players score in the opening quarter as the Lady Bulldogs stayed close to the Lady Colts (6-13) and went into the second quarter down only 15-13.
The next two quarters would be more of a defensive struggle for the two teams, who were meeting for the first time ever on the basketball court.
Cedartown outscored Coahulla Creek 6-3 in the second quarter and was outscored by the Lady Colts 9-8 in the third quarter to send the teams into the final period tied at 27.
Cedartown would open the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run, but Coahulla Creek came storming back to set up the dramatic ending that sent the game into overtime.
"We've got to keep winning every quarter," Tidwell said.
Cedartown's post players - Keona Love and Gravitt - had big games for the Lady Bulldogs. Gravitt finished with 12 points and Love added nine points to go with numerous rebounds. Both players fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Boozer scored 12 points for Cedartown while Morgan Gore and Barnett scored five each.