The most successful Harlem High School girls basketball team in history lost in the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs at Bainbridge on Tuesday.
The Bearcats won 58-57 in overtime on a free throw with less than 5 seconds remaining.
The Bulldogs advanced past the first round for the first time in school history by beating Mt. Zion 49-29 on Feb. 27.
And despite the stinging outcome, the Bulldogs didn't dread the 12-hour trip.
"You know what? We had a good time," Harlem coach Amy Slagle said Wednesday. "I know the girls did. Everybody likes a road trip."
The game was probably Slagle's last as the Bulldogs' coach. She said she is among the Harlem teachers who will be displaced during the school's rezoning for Grovetown High School. She said she doesn't know if she will coach, only that she is on the way out.
She will have company among her players. Slagle said only five of Harlem's 21 girls basketball players at the junior varsity and varsity level are expected to return.
"I'd have to say it will definitely be a rebuilding year for Harlem (next year)," Slagle said. "But that's the deal."
The Bulldogs almost extended their run.
With 6 seconds left in regulation, Slagle instructed guard Chancellor Martin to drive and try to draw a foul or lay it up. Harlem didn't get the call, and the game went into overtime tied at 55.
Both offenses slowed in the extra period. Each team had one bucket in overtime when Martin was whistled for a loose ball foul.
Bainbridge sank one of two free throws to take the lead. The second free throw missed, but the Bearcats got the rebound and dribbled out the clock.
"It was a great game," Slagle said.
Harlem senior Nicole Wells led all scorers with 26 points, and Chade Martin added 12.
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