Columbia lived and died by the 3-pointer in the first half on Friday night and, luckily for the Lions, Tullahoma shot poorly the entire matchup, allowing Columbia to secure a 64-52 home win.
The Wildcats drop to 4-13 on the season and 1-4 against District 8-AAA opponents. Tullahoma was scheduled to travel to Moore County on Saturday, however, as of press time, the result of that matchup was unavailable. THS will next head to Franklin County on Tuesday for a 7:30 p.m. contest.
In Columbia on Friday, the Lions took a 20-12 advantage into halftime, with all but two points for Columbia coming off of 3-pointers. Elijah Beasley scored those two points off a pair of free throws with 32.4 seconds remaining in the first half for the Lions.
Cam Johnson had previously knocked down three 3s for Columbia in the first half. Arcavius Goodman added a pair of 3-pointers of his own, while Keyshawn Frierson added one of his own.
Tullahoma couldn’t take advantage of sloppy play by Columbia, trailing 12-4 at the end of the first period. Jake Hollandsworth hit the lone field goal for the Wildcats in the first period, while Matthew Ross added a pair of free throws.
Ross added a pair of baskets for Tullahoma in the second half, while Hollandsworth scored one of his own. Race Marin and Corvion Fields each hit a free throw before the period concluded, but the Wildcats trailed 20-12 heading into halftime.
Both teams picked up the scoring in the second half, but Tullahoma continued to trail, falling behind 46-30 heading into the final period. Quintin Howard led the Wildcats in the third quarter, putting up nine points, including knocking down a 3-pointer that cut the score to 34-24 with 3:12 remaining in the third period.
However, Columbia concluded the third quarter on a 12-6 run. Howard, Hollandsworth and Ross added the final six points in the period for Tullahoma.
In the fourth quarter, the Wildcats couldn’t slow down Columbia, as the Lions dominated the period, including taking a 61-41 advantage with 3:40 remaining on the clock. Austin Secrest and Fields each scored seven points in the final quarter for THS.
Howard and Hollandsworth each added a basket, while Sam Brock hit a free throw in the fourth quarter for Tullahoma. Ryan Scott added a buzzer-beater 3-pointer for the final points of the game for the Wildcats.
Howard led Tullahoma in scoring on the night, putting up 11 points, all of which came in the second half. Secrest added nine points, while Ross, Hollandsworth and Fields each scored eight. Marin added four points, while Scott had three points and Brock added a free throw.