COLUMBUS -- For the second consecutive game, the Columbus High girls lost by a point.

Tuesday, the Discoverers lost to No. 2 Platteview 46-45.

On Friday, Blair (9-12) came to Columbus (5-16) and beat the Discoverers 40-39

"It's tough taking a one-point loss," Columbus head coach Dave Licari said. "Tuesday was a lot easier to handle. On the road against a team ranked second versus tonight playing a team that's lost four in a row and playing their third road game of the week."

"I give them a lot of credit for coming in here and being mentally tough enough to get a win."

Michaela Ott's two free throws with 27 seconds left proved to be the winning points.

Columbus had two looks in the last five seconds, but couldn't get either to drop.

Blair got out to an early 7-4 lead, taking advantage of some Columbus turnovers that led to easy baskets.

Back-to-back 3-pointers by Kennedy Jones and Lexie Kucera put the Discoverers up 10-7.

Another Columbus turnover gave Blair a layup at the buzzer to make it 10-9.

The Bears opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run before the Discoverers answered with a 6-0 run of their own to go back up 16-15.

Ott tied the game at 16-all with a free throw with 12 seconds left to send the teams to the half knotted up.

"We were just stagnant," Licari said of the low-scoring first half. "We were really slow moving the ball on the perimeter and weren't looking to attack at all."

Columbus was finally able to open up its offense in the third quarter. The Discoverers knocked down four of their first five shot attempts, including a pair of treys to take a 26-23 lead. Columbus carried that advantage into the fourth quarter with a 32-29 lead.

"We got a little more movement against the zone and the girls got in the gaps of the defense more," Licari said.

Macee Trotta kicked off the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to give Columbus it's biggest lead of the game at 35-29.

An 8-0 run by the Bears put them right back ahead, 37-35 as the Discoverers' offense bogged down.

"We just started dribbling too much and, for us, that's not really our game," Licari said.

A basket by Emily Goc and two free throws from Jones, who had a team-high 14 points, put Columbus ahead 39-37 before Blair scored the last three points of the game.

Goc and Regi Zakrzewski added eight points each for Columbus.

Joanna Sandvold led Blair with 12 points.

The Discoverers now turn their focus to the B-6 subdistrict tournament. Columbus plays Northwest on Monday. The Discoverers beat the Vikings 46-43 in December, but Licari knows it won't be an easy game.

"Northwest is going to be tough," he said. "They're definitely a quality opponent for being a No. 4 seed in the district."


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