With just over six minutes left in the game the Lady Titans overcame an 11 point deficit to pull to within four of Independence only to see the effort melt away into a 64-46 loss in their final regular season game Tuesday night.
When it looked as though the Lady Titans might close strong for a win, Independence Talor Smith, a 5-foot four junior, sank three consecutive shots from behind the three point line to dowse any Titan hopes.
“We hung with them the whole game, we were very consistant and made our move at the right time, but when Smith hit those three pointers it just killed us,” said Lady Titan head Coach Kenny Boeckman. “It would have been easy for the girls to lay down tonight and say our season is over, but there they were in the final quarter making a comeback, they never quit and they played with passion and pride.”
The Lady Titans fell behind in the first quarter 12-8, when Indy all-state candidate, Kelby McGrath hit a buzzer beater. Seesaw scoring had marked the quarter, with both teams getting and losing two point leads.
The Lady Titan stayed close through the half trailing by three at 23-20 with the mid-way buzzer sounded.
Late in the third quarter the Lady Titans started their move cutting the Indy lead to just three points at 38-35 with 1:35 to go when Cassie Stanley hit a three pointer.
Bailie Hatfield sank a 15 footer to cut the Indy lead to 38-37, culminating a 17-10 Lady Titan run. The quarter ended with Columbus trailing 41-37.
“I thought we had a real chance going into the fourth,” said Coach Boeckman. “Then the Smith got hot.”
The Lady Titans were led in scoring by Audra Stover with 11 and Cassie Stanley added 10 points. Paige Fletcher scored ning all in the first half. Bailie Hatfield scored six points and Brianne Wells scored five points.
The Titans will play Tuesday night in Altamont after the Lady Grizzlies 57-41 victory over Chanute on Tuesday night.