MOULTRIE – When Keyana Harper hit two free throws with 2.8 seconds remaining to give Colquitt County a 57-56 lead over Parkview in a first-round GHSA Class 7A girls playoff game on the William Bryant Court on Tuesday, it appeared the Lady Packers had punched a ticket to the second round.
But Parkview connected on a long inbounds pass and with 0.7 seconds left, Parkview’s Mayah Watson-Casimir was fouled.
A member of the Region 1-7A All-Defensive Team, proved capable on the offensive end as well, calmly swishing two free throws to give the Lady Panthers the improbable victory.
Watson-Casimir had only four points in the game. The other two came on a basket that gave Parkview a 54-53 lead with 1:01 remaining.
Parkview, the No. 3 seeded team from Region 4, will advance to the second round to play the winner of the game between Pebblebrook and Region 3 champion Marietta.
Colquitt County, the Region 1 runner-up, finishes the season 12-8.
It was a difficult defeat for the undersized Lady Packers who managed to stay with a Parkview team led by 6-foot-3 Sussy Ngulefac, a first-team All-Region 4 performer who has committed to playing at Samford.
Ngulefac led all scorers with 20 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, but the Lady Packers hung in until Watson-Casimir went to the line.
“The kids fought hard,” Colquitt County coach Rondesha Williams said. “They fought to the end. Keyana hit two big-time free throws.
“We’ve been an underdog all year long. I’m not mad. I can’t ask any more of my kids. They showed up tonight and left it all on the floor.”
With Ngulefac and the 5-foot-11 Nadya McCown holding down the paint, the Lady Packers played long ball to keep the game close.
Colquitt hit four 3-pointers in the first quarter and three more in the second and led 32-25 at the half.
Parkview struggled in a 10-point second quarter, scoring just two points over the final 5:31.
But the Lady Panthers outscored Colquitt 13-8 in the third quarter and got their first lead since early in the first quarter when a Ngulefac basket put Parkview up 45-43 with 5:24 left.
The teams traded four one-point leads over a 27-second span of the fourth quarter before Harper was fouled after grabbing an offensive rebound.
She hit the first and, after a Parkview timeout, hit the second for what would be the final point of her Colquitt County career.
But Parkview was able to turn its version of a “Hail Mary” into a victory.
Joze Baker had 15 points for Parkview and McCown added 13, including nine on three 3-pointers.
Senior Camille Singletary led the Lady Packers with 19 points.
Sophomore Carliss Johnson, the Region 1-7A co-Player of the Year, had 18, and Gracie Belle Paulk and Audreyanna Rowland each had seven.