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Heartbreak at the buzzer: Clements comes up short to Trinity Presbyterian once again

Feb. 27—BIRMINGHAM — Hunched over as the final buzzer sounded, the moment couldn't have been more heartbreaking for Leah Childress and the Clements Colts.

Trailing by three with the final seconds ticking away, Childress had two chances to tie the game up. Normally an ace 3-point shooter, luck wasn't on her side as both shots came up short and Trinity Presbyterian escaped with a 41-39 win over the Colts.

"The first one wasn't a look I really wanted, but the second one was definitely one I could've made," Childress said. "It just didn't go in."

The frustrating end to the game is likely to haunt the Colts for a while to come. In a rematch of last year's 3A state title game, in which Clements lost by four, the Colts executed their game plan almost perfectly.

In the end, the only thing that kept them from earning their revenge and advancing back to the state finals was the inability to buy the right bucket at the right moment.

"A couple bounces here and there were the difference in the game," said head coach Shane Childress. "Stay in the game and turn it on at the end was our plan and I think we did that. It was right there for us, so close, but it just slipped away again."

Normally a fast-paced, press defense team, Clements came out with a completely different game plan. The Colts pulled their defense back and worked slowly on offense with the plan to turn on the aggression late. After weathering an early offensive barrage from the Wildcats, the plan almost worked.

In the second half, after trailing 26-20 at halftime, Clements outscored Trinity 19-15 and held the Wildcats to a nearly seven-minute stretch without a basket.

"They came out on fire, I mean I didn't think they were going to miss. If we had pressed all game, we would've lost by 20," Shane Childress said. "We held on and kept chipping away and I think if we could've just gotten over the hump and grabbed a lead, it would've ended differently."

"I give my girls a lot of credit, a lot of teams when they're down by six or eight points with four minutes to go would've panicked," Childress added. "We stayed calm and we were right there with a chance at the end. We were just a basket away."

Tay Tay Farrar led Clements with 13 points. Leah Childress finished with eight and Taylor Farrar added seven. Maddie Smith led Trinity with 15.

Clements finishes the season 24-10 and with back-to-back trips to Birmingham for the state basketball tournament. The Colts will look to make it three in a row next season, however, they'll have to do so without Taylor and Tay Tay, the only seniors on the team..

"These girls are some of my best friends, on and off the court," Leah Childress said. "It's been a fun ride."

When asked if they felt they had helped put Clements girls basketball back on the map, Taylor Farrar had a simple answer:

"Yes we have."

—caleb.suggs@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2395. Twitter @CalebSuggs2