KENNESAW -- The Tattnall Square girls basketball team had its valiant comeback fall just short Friday as the Trojans were eliminated in the quarterfinals of the GHSA Class A Private School Tournament, falling 35-28 to Greenforest Christian.
Tattnall had an 8-1 lead to start the game but trailed 25-18 at halftime. The Trojans had a chance to take the lead but threw away a pass on what would have been an uncontested layup and could never get over the hump.
No. 6 seed Tattnall (25-3) had other chances, but No. 3 seed Greenforest (26-0) was 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the final minutes and the Trojans could not connect on the other end.
THREE WHO MATTERED
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Abby Rouse: Tattnall's junior center scored 10 points and was a force on the inside. She showed nice range on some jump shots at the head of the key.
Jordan Allen: The senior guard played a strong floor game against the relentless Greenforest pressure and scored seven points.
Taylor Riggins: The Greenforest sophomore guard made a pair of 3-pointers and led the Eagles with 10 points.
Allie Gordon scored on an offensive rebound to pull Tattnall to within 29-28 with less than two minutes left. The Trojans had a golden opportunity to take the lead after a steal at midcourt, but the lead pass for the uncontested layup sailed out of bounds.
The few, the proud: Greenforest only had seven players on the roster.
The first run: Greenforest put together a 7-0 run in the second period when Rouse was on the bench. Two inside buckets and a kickout to Taylor Riggins for a 3-pointer were enough to give the Eagles a 13-10 lead.
Crying foul: Tattnall shot only three free throws in the very physical game. The Trojans were 1-for-3, all the shots taken by Allen.
THEY SAID IT
Tattnall head coach Todd Whetsel on the comeback: "We were down seven and battled back, and I'm proud of the effort to cut it to one and get the ball back and have an opportunity to take the lead. That's all you can ask for. We didn't make the play, but we gave ourselves a chance."
Whetsel on Greenforest's big second quarter: "The difference was in the second quarter ... their offensive rebounding. They didn't have any in the first quarter, and they had seven in the second quarter, and that's when they took the lead. To me that was the difference, second-quarter rebounding."
Whetsel on the season: "We graduated five players from last year, four starters; you don't know what they're going to do. For this bunch to go 25-3, I think they exceeded all expectations. They're hurting right now, but when the hurting is over, and we've had a chance to reflect on the season, 25 wins was pretty good."