A 3-pointer with under five seconds remaining hit just off the back iron and denied Columbus overtime, and potentially, its first home win on Friday in a 52-47 loss to Lexington.
The Discoverers entered the fourth quarter trailing 41-31 but put together 11 straight points during one stretch when the gap had extended to 12, tied the game on an and-one basket but came up just long on a tying attempt with 5.4 seconds remaining in the game.
Down three with the ball after Lexington hit two free throws, Columbus looked for room and an open shot with 25 seconds left but found no space forcing coach Jimmy Motz to take a timeout.
He drew up a play that produced an open shot, but one that just missed. The Minutemen collected the rebound then made both free throws putting even a miracle half court heave out of the question.
The loss dropped Columbus to 2-7 on the season and 0-5 at home. Still, CHS had lost its previous four home games by margins of 12, 15, 23 and 25.
Friday had all the makings of another blowout until the fourth when a hoop by Kade Nelson, 3 by Garrett Esch and two 3s by Ernest Hausmann suddenly had Columbus back to within striking distance.
Though Columbus couldn't quite finish it off, the Discoverers showed an energy and a fight that Motz had been critical of in the last few performances.
Specifically last Friday in the rivalry with Fremont. Columbus led early in the first quarter then allowed 15 straight points and never really challenged the rest of the way.
In a rivalry that had lasted over 90 years, and was coming to an end at least for the time being due to scheduling issues, it was a tough pill to swallow.
Columbus gave the F&C Cup away with no guarantee of ever getting it back.
Friday started much the same.
The Discoverers led 6-3 early but then allowed 12 straight and trailed 15-6 after the first period.
Columbus missed several big opportunities right out of the gate when Lexington turned it over on its first four possessions. CHS capitalized once but then itself had ballhandling issues.
The Minutemen scored the first field goal on a Discoverer turnover and had eight points off turnovers at the end of the first quarter.
Columbus limited those mistakes the rest of the way, but seemed to always give up a big shot right when it had drawn to within a possession or two.
Hausmann hit a 3 to start the second but Lexington answered with a 3 of its own then an offensive rebound putback.
Hausmann had five straight points at the end of the second quarter to cut the deficit to six, but Lexington went into the locker room up eight after hitting a shot at the buzzer.
Landon Thompson sank a 3 on a second-chance opportunity making it a five-point game late in the third but a Minutemen 3 then another hoop on the final possession pushed it back out to 10.
But the Discoverers just wouldn't go away.
Though Lexington made the first shot of the fourth and led by 12, the 11-0 Columbus run had the visitors sweating out the end.
They responded with a bucket to end the run, but Esch scored and was fouled for the tie. The Minutemen answered with a hoop, the Discoverers missed with 1:02 left, but after a foul, Lexington made just 1 of 2 free throws.
Nelson's hoop with 35 seconds left cut it to one before two more Minutemen free throws. That left Columbus with the ball and a chance to tie that bounced agonizingly off to the opposite side.
Aquinas 56, GICC 53
Wahoo Neumann 65, O Concordia 53
Clarkson/Leigh, 53, H St. Francis 46
Lakeview 67, Centennial 58 (3OT)
Lincoln Christian 45, Scotus 32
Seward 44, Schuyler 24
Shelby-RC 38, Hampton 19
Wahoo 55, Platteview 37
Aurora 65, Beatrice 47
Cross County 53, David City 50
High Plains 65, Dorchester 24
Humphrey LHF 75, Clearwater-O 43
Lincoln Christian 78, Scotus 32
Norfolk 61, North Star 56
Seward 53, Schuyler 12