(T-G Photo by Gary Johnson)
After falling behind 20-6 in the first quarter, only one-point separated the teams over the final three quarters.
"This was a good test for us. Columbia's got one of the best teams in the mid-state and I thought we played hard, battled but we just lost our composure a little bit in the first quarter when the score went for 2-2 to 11-2," Shelbyville coach Kevin Thomas said.
"We just got out of sink of what we wanted to do and Columbia had a lot of do with that."
The Eaglette defense stepped up in the second stanza, holding the Lady Lions (14-3, 2-0 8-AAA) to just a pair of baskets from the field along with three free throws, but Shelbyville still struggled on the offensive end of the court with a number of missed layups and turnovers.
To'Nesha Allison connected on a pair of free throws for the Eaglettes (7-9, 1-1 8-AAA) at the 3:57 mark of the third period to cut the lead to 35-20 but Columbia closed out the quarter with a 9-2 run to hold a 44-22 advantage going into the fourth.
The Eaglettes outscored the winners 15-8 in the final eight minutes but it was too little too late.
"We did a little better job of handling the ball after the first quarter and they didn't get as many transition points off our turnovers over the final three quarters," Thomas said. "If we can learn from our mistakes in this game, maybe that will make us a better team down the road."
Makayla Timmons pitched in a game-high 15 points, including three 3-pointers to for Columbia while Fanise Cannon contributed nine.
Allison finished the game with a dozen points while Olivia Calvert netted nine.
"I really thought Olivia Calvert and To'Nesha Allison, a pair of sophomores, really stepped up and played well for us," Thomas said. "As the game went on, I thought we settled down as a team and played with more confidence and really started to attack them."
The Eaglettes entertain much improved Tullahoma on Tuesday night at 6.
Shelbyville 6 5 11 15 -- 37
Columbia 20 8 16 8 -- 52
Columbia: Makayla Timmons 15, Fanise Cannon 9, Aryanna Gilbert 7, Keiana Gilbert 6, Bumpas 5, Frierson 4, Young 4, Lee 2.
Shelbyville: Allison 12, Olivia Calvert 9, Braden 6, Doak 5, H. Calvert 3, Horner 2.
3-point goals: Columbia (4): Timmons 3, Frierson 1; Shelbyville (3): O. Calvert 1, H. Calvert 1, Doak 1.
Halftime score: Columbia 28, Shelbyville 11.