Shelbyville Central scored 11 unanswered points to start the game and held on to claim a 68-65 victory over visiting Columbia in a District 8-AAA matchup on Friday night.
Nine 3-pointers along the way helped the cause as well.
"This is a huge win for us and one that I'm not sure we would have held on to win earlier in the season. We grew up a lot in this game and I'm proud of how we gutted it out at the end," Shelbyville coach Allison Clark said. "Give Columbia a lot of credit, they really played hard and shot the ball well, especially in the second half."
The Eaglettes posted a 15-9 lead at the end of the opening frame and outscored the Lady Lions 15-10 in the second stanza to hold a 30-19 advantage at halftime.
Freshman sharpshooter Sarah Beth Martin canned her second 3-pointer of the third quarter at the 3:38 mark to put the Eaglettes up 43-29, but Columbia responded with a 9-0 run to cut the lead to 43-38 before trailing 47-41 going into the fourth quarter.
The Lady Lions took advantage of a sticky full-court press and tied the game at 52-52 with 4:13 left to play, but that was as close as they would get as the Eaglettes held on down the stretch.
Shelbyville cashed in on 11-of-14 free throws in the fourth quarter.
"This was a team win as we had a number of players contribute late in this game to help get the win," Clark said. "It was close and exciting those last few minutes."
McDonald led all scorers with 25 points, including five 3-pointers. Kelsie Smith netted 16, including a perfect 10-for-10 at the charity stripe, while Sarah Beth Martin added 13 with three treys.
Makayla Timmons led Columbia with 25 points, including 19 in the second half. Kanytra Bumpas netted 15 and Young added a dozen.
Shelbyville returns to action on Tuesday in Tullahoma in another district matchup at 6 p.m.
Columbia 9 10 22 24--65
Shelbyville 15 15 17 21--68
Columbia: Timmons 25, Bumpas 15, Young 12, Cannon 8, Homer 3, Zelaya 2.
Shelbyville: McDonald 25, K. smith 15, Martin 13, C. Smith 9, Horner 5.
Halftime: Shelbyville 30, Columbia 19.
3-point goals: Shelbyville (9): McDonald 5, Martin 3, C. Smith 1; Columbia (5): Timmons 3, Homer 1, Young 1.