FORT PAYNE — With the Fort Payne girls trailing by two with 0.4 seconds left, Abby Boatwright inbounded toward Brylan Gray from the baseline, but Albertville deflected the pass and time expired.
Graidin Haas scored a game-high 17 points and Gray added 11 points in the Wildcats’ 47-45 loss in their home opener Tuesday night.
“We were looking for a little lob play for the post player coming down the lane,” Wildcats coach Steve Sparks said of the team’s final play. “With 0.4 seconds you don’t have much time, so we were just looking for a quick catch and score.”
Fort Payne (0-2) held a 40-38 lead at the start of the fourth and the game became tied twice inside the last 3 minutes. Esabella Trammell split a pair of free throw attempts to give the Aggies (2-0) the lead for good at 46-45 with 1:47 left in regulation.
The Wildcats gained possession with a one-point deficit and 30 seconds left, but turned it over out of bounds with 26.6 to play. Fort Payne’s Logan Neil was involved in a jump ball situation during an Albertville inbounds play but the Aggies were awarded possession and were fouled at midcourt with 14.3 left.
Time expired and the buzzer sounded as Fort Payne and Albertville competed for a loose ball. Sparks called timeout prior to the buzzer and game officials met to determine if the Wildcats had possession before time had expired. Fort Payne was granted 0.4 seconds and possession on the baseline, leading to the Aggies’ game-saving defensive stop.
Sarah Rutledge and Emma Greer led Albertville with 12 points apiece.
The Wildcats led 30-27 at halftime. Neither team led by more than four points throughout the second half.
Fort Payne hosts a two-day tournament Monday and Tuesday. The Wildcats play Thompson at 6 p.m. Monday and Demopolis at 6 p.m. Tuesday.