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Playing without leading scorer Logan Mittie but playing with all the heart, hustle and character a coach could ask from any team, the Aledo Ladycats' last second rally fell short as The Colony escaped with a 62-60 win in a Class 4A girls bi-district playoff game Tuesday night at Byron Nelson High School.
The Ladycats trailed by two points at the half and by a point as the game entered the fourth quarter.
Playing with a short bench, the Ladycats appeared to have run out of gas in the fourth quarter as The Colony took a nine-point lead, 56-47, with just more than four minutes left in the contest.
But a put back by sophomore wing Caileen Tallant and a pair of free throws from freshman guard Mallory Powell - who led the team with 19 points - cut the Lady Cougars' lead to 58-56 with 48 seconds remaining in the game.
The Colony's Ashlee Ferguson hit a pair of free throw nine seconds later to increase her team's lead to four points.
But a critical three-point bucket from the right perimeter by senior guard Melissa Howell cut The Colony's lead to 60-59 with 30 seconds remaining.
With no time outs left, the Ladycats were forced to foul Lady Cougar guard Tabbatha Thurmond, and the senior hit one of two charity shots to give The Colony a 61-59 lead with 20 seconds left.
On Aledo's ensuing trip down the floor, Tallant launched a shot from behind the three-point arc. However, luck was not on the Ladycats' side as the ball hit the front of the rim and bounced over the backboard and out of bounds with 12 seconds remaining.
Aledo fouled Thurmond a second later, and the guard connected on one of two free throws to increase the Colony's advantage to 62-59.
The Ladycats got a break when The Colony's Darrein Williams fouled Aledo sophomore guard Alanna Martin with three seconds remaining.
Martin hit the first free throw to cut the lead to 62-60, and was instructed to purposely miss the second charity shot in an attempt for AHS to get a last-second rebound and put back.
But Martin's attempt failed to hit the rim, which by rule is a turnover.
The Colony successfully passed the ball in play and ran out the clock to escape with a two-point win.
The Lady Cougars will face state-ranked No.1 Mansfield Timberview in the area round.
Also scoring for the Ladycats were Martin with 13 points, Tallant with 12, Howell with 11, junior guard Shelby Stockard with three and senior post Tara Gough with two.
Gough led the Ladycats with nine rebounds, Powell added eight and Tallant finished with six.
The Aledo Bearcats basketball team fell to Birdville, 73-48, Tuesday night in the District 6-4A finale at the AHS gym.
The Bearcats finish the district season with a 2-12 mark.
Junior guards Danny Glass and Dillon Huerta each scored 12 points to lead the Bearcats.
For the complete story on both games, and for comments by head coaches Rusty Johnson and Jeff Carroll, please see the Feb. 19 issue of The Community News.