CADDO – Colbert opened the postseason Friday night at Caddo’s Choate Fieldhouse with a split against Wilson in the Class 2A District Tournament.
The Lady Leopards’ season was brought to an end as Wilson rallied in the second half for a 52-40 win while the Leopards held on at the end for a 56-51 victory in the nightcap.
Colbert will face host Caddo for the District Championship Saturday night at 8 p.m. while the Caddo girls meet Wilson at 6:30.
Each team traded free throws early but Wilson took a 3-1 lead on Logan Stubbs’ layup with two minutes off the clock. Kiana Love tied it up with a pair of freebies and then gave the Lady Leopards the lead with two more after being fouled on a putback attempt.
Wilson regained the lead on four straight points by Brianna Way to make it 7-5, but Brady Rowland drilled a trey from deep in the left corner to give the Lady Leopards an 8-7 edge after one quarter.
Rowland opened the second frame with another trey, this one from the right side to bump the lead to four, but Wilson came back and tied the game at 11 on jumpers by Lexy Hodges and Bethany Ross.
Colbert went up by six on Love’s move inside to make it 17-11 with three minutes left before halftime and held a 21-15 entering the break.
Wilson came out hot in the second half, getting back to back treys from Hodges and Raines to knot the score before Leigha Brown nailed two free throws to give Colbert the lead once again.
The Lady Eagles scored five straight points for a 26-23 cushion but Colbert got two free throws from Love and a trey from Brown as the Lady Leopards charged in front for the final time. The two continued to trade baskets but Wilson owned a one-point edge at the end of three rounds.
Colbert kept clawing back within a bucket but was unable to overcome the deficit as Wilson rode the scoring of Stubbs the rest of the way for the win.
The Lady Leopards were led by Love with 17 points, while Rowland was in double figures with 10, including two three-pointers.
Brown chipped in eight while Hanna Rhoades added three points and McKenzie Lynn rounded out the scoring with two points.
Colbert rode the hot hands early as the Leopards hit four three-pointers in the opening stanza.
Wilson opened the scoring with a trey from Hunter Chapman but Colbert’s Josh Means fired in a long ball to bring the teams even at 3-3, before swapping buckets inside.
The Leopards reeled off six straight for an 11-5 advantage, with the scoring coming via layup by Means, a Braden Muller three-pointer and a free throw from Brandon Denton before Wilson managed to score on a layup by Chapman.
Muller banged home another deep ball and Ronnie Rickman sank a pair of charity tosses to put Colbert up 16-7, but Carson Fulton connected on one of two free throws and Trevor Schaaf scored inside to bring the Eagles to within six.
Jarod Tucker took the inbound pass and hoisted up a three-quarter court shot at the buzzer to bring the crowd to their feet as Colbert held a firm 19-10 lead after one.
After the Eagles scored inside to open the second stanza, Denton nailed a three from deep on the left side to push the advantage to double digits at 22-12, but Wilson got consecutive buckets by Chapman and Clay Hodges to cut the lead six with 3:56 to go before intermission.
Means drained another trey for the Leopards to extend it back to a nine-point lead, and Colbert enjoyed its largest lead of the night at 27-16 on a jumper by Rickman. The teams swapped buckets inside for a halftime score of 29-18.
Wilson slowly got back in it, scoring on several back door plays to Kaden Hunziker inside and a trey from Chapman, making it 31-25 with only two minutes gone in the third frame.
Means found the net on another bomb, before Muller went on a personal 10-point scoring spree, pushing the lead to 44-31 on his old-fashioned three-point play off an inbounds pass. Colbert was unable to put the Eagles away though as Wilson closed out the quarter with the final seven points to close within 44-38 heading into the final quarter.
Each team scored inside to start the fourth period but Colbert maintained the lead and held on for the win with timely free throw shooting while never allowing Wilson to get any closer than three.
“It was a battle for sure,” said Colbert coach Tony Robinson. “We shot the ball well but had some turnovers we maybe shouldn’t have. Overall, I am very happy with the win, but we know we will have our hands full with Caddo.”
Muller dropped in a game high 19 points to lead Colbert, including three treys, while Means was in double figures with a dozen and three three-pointers as well.
Carlos Segera had nine for the Leopards, followed by Denton with seven and Rickman with six points. Tucker had the final three tallies for Colbert with his 70-foot heave.
The Leopards improved to 11-12 on the season.