ALPHARETTA — Lambert’s boys were able to recover from a disastrous start. Their shaky finish was a different story.
The No. 3 seed Longhorns rallied after falling behind No. 4 seed Centennial 13-0, but were outscored 11-1 in the closing minutes of a 60-48 loss to the Knights in the Region 6-AAAAAA consolation final on Saturday at Alpharetta HIgh School.
The loss dropped the Longhorns (17-11) to the No. 4 seed and set up a meeting with top-seeded, No. 3-ranked Norcross.
"We definitely didn’t close out the game the way I would have liked," Lambert head coach Scott Bracco said.
"We were taking jump shots when we should have been attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line. These are games that we’re learning from and we’re learning about situations every day whether it’s practice or the games. This is just one of those games you’ve got to learn from."
The Longhorns struggled to contain Centennial (17-11) forward Will Perry, especially in the opening quarter, when he scored 11 of his game-high 23 points.
Despite surrendering 13 unanswered points to open the game, Lambert narrowed the gap to 29-26 going into halftime courtesy of a 3-pointer by Tanner Hall (10 points) with six seconds remaining in the second quarter.
Logan Bush (team-high 18 points) scored Lambert’s first nine points of the fourth quarter and teammate Jake Morris added a pair of free throws that narrowed Centennial’s lead to 49-47 with 3:59 remaining, but that was as close as the Longhorns would get.
Tre Hansprough (9 points) went 5-of-6 at the free-throw line in the final four minutes, helping the Knights pull away for the win.
Bush tallied 10 of the Longhorns’ 12 points in the fourth quarter.