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Falcons fall to Bison in girls regional quarterfinals

Buffalo Gap's Amaya Lucas, left, Alexis Clark, right, battle for the ball with Central's Kendall Herbaugh, left, and Tycara Scott, right, during first quarter action of the Region 2B tournament quarterfinals held Tuesday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

WOODSTOCK — Central picked a bad time to have its worst free-throw shooting performance of the season.

The Falcons struggled mightily at the free-throw line in a 46-33 loss to Buffalo Gap in the Region 2B girls basketball tournament quarterfinals.

“We had our chances,” Central coach Bryan Scott said. “Overall, I think by far this was probably our worst night shooting free throws all season. Then you count in the missed layups we had inside — and that’s probably the ball game.”

The Falcons went 13-for-28 from the free-throw line in the game.

The Falcons turned the ball over six times early in the game and fell behind 12-1 with 2:37 left in the opening quarter.

Central's Maya Frye-Willaims penetrates the lane as Buffalo Gap's Leah Calhoun defends during second quarter action of the Region 2B tournament quarterfinals held Tuesday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

Buffalo Gap’s Leah Calhoun had five points during the run.

Central’s Tycara Scott scored inside the paint with about two minutes left for the Falcons first basket.

The Falcons were able to claw their way back into the game, aided by their defense. Bryan Scott switched Central’s defense to a 2-3 zone, and it gave the Bison fits.

A 3-pointer by Maria Marston and two free throws by Tycara Scott cut the lead to 12-9 with 4:34 left in the first half.

The Bison were able to push the lead to 15-9 on a basket by Calhoun and a free throw by Camile Ashby.

Central's Maria Marston attempts a steal from Buffalo Gap's Leah Pulz during second quarter action of the Region 2B tournament quarterfinals held Tuesday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

Central’s Ayanna Strother had two free throws in the final four minutes as the Falcons trailed 16-12 at the half.

“We hung in there, kind of battled back,” Bryan Scott said. “I told them at halftime as bad as we’ve played we’re only down by four.”

The Bison were able to stretch their lead to 29-22 with 2 minutes left in the third period, but the Falcons responded with a 7-0 run.

Strother and Marston each had a basket and a 3-pointer by Bailey Gale tied the game, 29-29, with 57 seconds left in the third period.

“Once we tied that thing up I really thought, here we go. We’ll start playing some good (defense),” Bryan Scott said.

Central's Tycara Scott goes up underneath to score as Buffalo Gap's Alexis Clark looks on during second quarter action of the Region 2B tournament quarterfinals held Tuesday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

Calhoun drained a 3-pointer to give the Bison a 32-29 edge after three periods.

The Bison took control of the game in the fourth period. Buffalo Gap’s Alexis Clark and Brittney Hanger hit back-to-back baskets to start a decisive 13-4 run.

Calhoun finished off the run with nine straight points.

“Leah does a wonderful job, and she’s a scorer for us,” Buffalo Gap coach Phillip Morgan said. “She’s our all-district player. And a lot of the girls feed off of what she does. So I thought it was real key there in the fourth quarter she hit some big shots for us — some tough shots. Some of her other shots hadn’t fallen, but she really came on right then.”

Ashby had 11 points for the Bison. Buffalo Gap will play at Wilson Memorial on Thursday in the regional semifinals with a state berth on the line.

Central's Ayanna Strother tries to regain control of the basketball after she was called for a charging foul as she drives to the basket during second quarter action of the Region 2B tournament quarterfinals held Tuesday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

Strother led the Falcons with 11 points. Marston had 8 points and Tycara Scott had 7 points and 11 rebounds.

The Falcons won 10 games in a row until losing to George Mason last week, and Bryan Scott said he was happy with the season his team had.

“With the exception of this game and the George Mason game (last week), we haven’t been beat by double figures,” Bryan Scott said. “So we were in every game. Every game that we played we were pretty much in it. …I’m very happy. Fifteen and 10, I think that’s what we ended up. We were still successful. Anytime you have more wins than losses, you get to play in the regionals. That’s a pretty successful season.”

Central's Ayanna Strother goes up underneath the basket as Buffalo Gap's Leah Calhoun defends during the Region 2B tournament quarterfinals held Tuesday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily