LAMAR – Coming to the semifinals of the 3A-4 District Tournament as the No. 6 seed, the Mansfield girls led No. 2 Paris for all but 0.6 of a second on Thursday.
But the upset bid fell short when an official whistled the Tigers for a loose-ball foul in the backcourt with less than one second left.
Paris’ Hannah Simmons, who had recovered a ball, drew the foul and netted the two pressure-packed free throws on the other end that gave Paris a 38-36 win. They were Simmons’ points of the game.
Paris (22-5) moves on to the district championship game tonight at 6 p.m. against Lamar.
"I think it was a foul," Paris coach Toby Tevebaugh said. "You don’t usually see that call in that situation and I feel bad for Mansfield, but we are just glad to be moving on."
Mansfield (16-11) will be the No. 4 seed at regionals next week and will face the top team from the 3A-1 district.
Mansfield surged ahead with a 13-3 second quarter to lead 20-13 at the half.
"We were executing our game, slowing down the game and doing a good job defensively," Mansfield coach Keith Dake said. "I love the effort by our girls, they played their hearts out. We did everything we could do."
Mansfield still had a 26-22 lead heading to the fourth and 35-30 with 1:19 left. The Tigers made only one of three free throws in the final minute that could have put the game away.
Paris’ Morgan Highfield hit a 3-pointer that cut it to 35-33 with 1:19. After Mansfield made a free throw with 29.9 seconds left, Lacy Diaz hit another 3-pointer for the Eagles that tied it at 36-36 with six seconds left.
Mansfield got the ball down court for a chance at a last-second shot but the ball was knocked away and Simmons came up with it to draw the foul.
Lycia Peevy led Paris with 18 points.
Erica Mckay, Kaylie Pyles and Erin Reano all had nine each for Mansfield.
Charleston 54, Two Rivers 35
BOYS — Before Charleston could think about winning the 3A-4 District Tournament, the Tigers had to get there.
Thursday, Charleston took care of business against pesky Two Rivers to advance to the title game as expected. Charleston will play in the championship for the seventh consecutive year tonight at 8 p.m. against No. 2 seed Lamar.
"Two Rivers is a tough opponent for us," Charleston coach B.J. Ross said. "We have a lot of size on them but they play hard, get to a lot of loose balls. They are like a bunch of little waterbugs."
Mathew Ward had 14 points and freshman Brandon Fenner had 13 for Charleston (24-5).
Ironically, Fenner found himself in the doghouse just last week in the same gym when he forgot his uniform and was not able to play in a big game against Lamar.
Fenner hit for 10 points in the first half including back-to-back 3-pointers that broke the game open with a 25-11 lead for Charleston.
"He came in the locker room and said, ‘Coach I think I redeemed myself,’" Ross said. "He had a real nice game. His ability to shoot the three can really help us in the tournament."
Andrew Smith added nine points and Chance Shelby had eight for Charleston. Hayden Newhart had four in his first game since suffering a broken nose more than a month ago.
"It’s nice to see Brandon have a good game off the bench and to get Hayden back out there because he can help us inside," Ross said. "We’ll need to have a good game against Lamar on their home floor."
Charleston held the lead 42-27 after three quarters.
Lamar 57, Paris 48
BOYS — Paris’ boys also came in as a No. 6 seed after springing an upset on Tuesday.
The Eagles (10-15) did not have enough against Lamar though.
Wyatt Nehus led Paris with 16 points. The Eagles will be the No. 4 seed at regionals.
Game 5: No. 4 Danville 64, No 5 Atkins 48, girls
Game 6: No. 4 Two Rivers 65, No. 5 Mansfield 62, boys
Game 7: No. 6 Mansfield 49, No. 3 Charleston 36, girls
Game 8: No. 6 Paris 70, No. 3 Danville 69 (OT), boys
Game 9: No. 1 Lamar 40, No. 4 Danville 33, girls
Game 10: No. 1 Charleston 54, No. 4 Two Rivers 35, boys
Game 11: No. 2 Paris 38, No. 6 Mansfield 36, girls
Game 12: No. 2 Lamar 57, No. 6 Paris 48, boys
Game 13: No. 1 Lamar vs. No. 2 Paris, Girls championship, 7 p.m.
Game 14: No. 1 Charleston vs. No. 2 Lamar, Boys championship, 8:30 p.m.