Maurice Rivers and Nick Singleton both scored 13 points and Anthony Rice added 12 but the Eagles fell short 56-51 to Jonesboro in the Class AAAA final Thursday at the Macon Centreplex.
Tracey Hector netted 15 of his 19 points in the first half and James Walker finished with 14 for the Cardinals, who won their first state championship in school history.
After trailing by 10 points at halftime, Columbia managed to pull even at 36-36 with a quarter to play. Then after more tight competition, the Eagles were in position to regain the lead with just over a minute remaining and a score of 47-46 but Elijah Wade stole a tipped inbounds pass, resulting in a number of trips to the foul line for the Cardinals.
And they were clutch at the stripe, sinking 9-of-10 shots to seal things. The Cardinals finished 24-of-29 from the foul line and the Eagles shot 13-of-14.
Columbia did shoot 50 percent from the field compared to Jonesboro’s 37 percent but the Eagles turned the ball over 16 times.
Last season, Columbia lost the championship game to Eagle’s Landing.