Playing in the state final four for the first time since 1968, Columbia nearly advanced to the state championship game--twice--before falling in double overtime 71-66 to Ft. Lauderdale Dillard.
In the final seconds of regulation with the game tied at 55, Columbia’s Kenny Gaines drove to the bucket. His shot from the lane missed then was tipped up several times before Marcus Peterson gathered it in. Peterson’s fall-away jumper from the left side of the lane came up short, sending the game to overtime.
In the closing second of overtime, Columbia again had a chance to win it. Leading 62-20 with the final seconds ticking away, Dillard’s Chandler Mack saves a ball that was heading out of bounds in the corner to Ivan Reynolds, who hits the turnaround jumper from the right side of the lane. Officials ruled the ball was out of his hand just before the buzzer sounded, but on replay, it appeared the ball was still in Reynold’s hand.
Despite that, the game moved to a second overtime.
With the game tied at 66 with just over two minutes remaining, Dillard’s Dimitri Bernot stole the ball, fed it ahead to Asonaba Bromley the layin and the led for Dillard.
Columbia didn’t score again.
Kenny Gaines led the Tigers with 24 points and Darrien Jones added 20. The pair combined to shoot 16 for 35 from the field.