Cougars fall short in state tournament
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
A special season came to a disappointing conclusion for the Lafayette Christian School Lady Cougars.
Facing Rock Springs Christian Academy in the opening round of the Georgia Association of Private & Parochial Schools Division I-AA state tournament on Tuesday, Lafayette Christian fell 41-26 at home.
Lafayette Christian got within five points with 4:32 to play after falling behind by 10 early in the fourth quarter, but Rock Springs pulled away down the stretch.
Lafayette Christian earned the right to host a state game after its dramatic overtime victory in the region-championship game.
The Lady Cougars finished the regular season as the region’s top team, and they backed that up in the region tournament that was played at Flint River.
The momentum didn’t carry over into Tuesday’s game, though.
The Lady Cougars had a one-point lead at the half, but they were outscored 12-3 in the third quarter to fall behind 27-19.
A 5-0 run in the fourth quarter got Lafayette Christian within five, but Rock Springs finished the game on a 12-2 run.
Senior Savanna Bryant, who last week signed to play softball at Point University, led Lafayette Christian with nine points, including six points in the fourth quarter.
Carmen Bridges added seven points, Hana Stevens scored four points, and Estella Llowrens and Juleigh Haynes had three points apiece.
The Lady Cougars led 9-6 after the first quarter, and they went ahead 16-11 on a Bryant 3-pointer with 3:45 left in the first half.
Rock Springs scored the final four points of the second quarter, and Lafayette Christian’s lead was 16-15 at the halftime break.
After falling behind by five points in the third quarter, the Lady Cougars got within three on a Stevens basket, but they were facing a 27-19 deficit as the final quarter began.
Rock Springs was ahead by 10 when Bryant made two free throws with 6:59 left in the game, and Bryant knocked down a shot 45 seconds later to make it a 29-23 game.
Llorens converted a free throw with 4:32 to play, cutting the Rock Springs lead to 29-24, and it was very much a ballgame.
Rock Springs scored the next five points to go ahead 34-24, and a steal and layup by Bryant got Lafayette Christian within eight with 1:46 to play.
That turned out to be the final points of the game for Lafayette Christian, and Rock Springs closed things out with a 7-0 run.