ACHILLE – Colbert utilized clutch three-pointers in both girls and boys action to sweep an early Bryan County Conference pair from Achille.
Junior Brady Rowland knocked down a trey with 49 seconds left that broke a 33-all deadlock and spurred the visiting Lady Leopards to a 36-33 victory.
In the boys contest it was Colbert sophomore Braden Mueller that had the hot had, sinking seven three-pointers to fuel a 56-45 win for the Leopards.
Both Colbert teams improved to 2-0 on the young season heading into their next action Friday at Calera. Achille will visit Bennington on Thursday.
The Lady Leopards missed their first 18 field goal attempts of the game but hit the final two when it counted to rally for the victory.
Rowland’s three-pointer with 1:43 remaining rallied Colbert from its only deficit of the second half before her dagger trey from the right wing that proved to be the game winner.
Leading 36-33, Colbert still needed a defensive stop and got it when Toree Buck blocked Achille’s Jackie Todd’s potential tying three-point try with just two seconds on the clock to preserve the victory.
“It was ugly but the outcome was awesome for us,” Colbert head coach Jay Depanion stated afterward. “They beat us pretty good both games last year so this was big for us. The girls are starting to really understand what we are trying to get done. We’re working hard to compete for four quarters. I very proud of the effort the girls showed.
“Brady hit a couple of clutch shots for us when we really need them.”
It took Colbert more than 13 minutes of clock time before finally getting a Buck transition bucket after a steal, but Achille had only a 10-7 edge at the time while managing only two Sommer Rater baskets over most of the second stanza.
Leigha Brown’s three-pointer moments later put the Lady Leopards in front the rest of the half, carrying a 15-12 edge to the half despite hitting only three of 23 field goal attempts.
Colbert pushed the margin to as much as 28-20 in the third quarter but the Lady Eagles came storming back behind Rater and Todd, eventually knotting things at 28 on a Karah Manry basket with 3:40 to go.
Achille took its first and only lead of the second half when Todd connected from three-point range with two minutes remaining, setting the stage for Rowland’s heroics. Todd also hit two free throws that tied things again with 1:30 left.
Rowland finished with 15 points with Brown also hitting double figures with 11 for Colbert. Kinzee Coker added four with Buck and Kianna Love scoring three apiece.
Jackie Todd notched 15 to pace Achille while Rater contributed 10. Calli Snyder ended with four as Manry and Jayme Todd tossed in two each.
In a game that saw 19 combined three-pointers, it was Colbert that came out on top thanks to key defensive stops down the stretch.
After trailing by double figures early in the second half, Achille rallied behind treys from Zediah Westbrook and Trent Gibby, cutting the margin to 38-36 early in the final frame.
Colbert then got back-to-back three-pointers from Mueller and Dillon Winger and put on the defensive clamps during a 16-5 run that put the victory away.
“We’re not very big and have to shoot the three quite a bit,” Colbert head coach Tony Robinson said. “We got great looks and I thought we executed pretty well offensively. Achille scrapped really hard and knocked down several contested threes that kept them in the game when we had a chance to put it away. We came back and hit some big shots too. Mueller came up with some big shots for us.
“Always good to win on the road but we have to make free throws better and can’t get confused as much defensively. For a young team though it’s exciting to be 2-0 at this point.”
Early it looked like the hosts might run away with things, racing to a 7-0 advantage before three consecutive Mueller treys ignited the Colbert charge, including a spectacular 15-3 run over the final three minutes of the first quarter.
That gave the Leopards the lead which they would never relinquish the rest of the way despite Achille getting within two on three different occasions in the second half.
Mueller led all scorers with 27 points for Colbert while Winger added 11, including three treys.
Josh Means hit several key free throws down the stretch and notched seven points. Hunter Peebles added five with Carlos Segura adding three and McKye Marquez two.
Westbrook poured in 12 while Austin McClung also hit double digits with 10 for the Eagles.
Ryan Caceres, Gibby and Alex Simmons pumped in six each, Cy Burden had four and Brayden Prater scored two.