The Lakeview Academy girls team trailed for nearly the entire game Saturday evening against Flowery Branch, but when it mattered most, Lady Lions senior Eliza Snyder had exactly what her team needed.
Snyder scored 9 fourth-quarter points — including a couple of clutch free throws with three seconds remaining—to lead Lakeview Academy to a 52-47 win and a berth in the Lanierland girls championship game.
Snyder finished the game with 22 points, 17 coming in the second half, to pace the Lady Lions in scoring in the victory. Lakeview Academy's win prevents the Lady Falcons from winning the tournament for the first time in the last four seasons.
The game included plenty of fireworks late, but neither team had many scoring opportunities in the opening quarter, but the Lady Falcons made theirs count. The team hit on just four shots in the frame, but all were from 3-point range, giving them a 12-8 advantage after eight minutes.
Then, both offenses started to explode. Flowery Branch's Ashlee Locke scored 6 points in the period in the post, and Lakeview Academy got 3s from Joelle Snyder, Jackie Allen and Maddy Towles. Allen's trey at around the midpoint of the second frame helped the Lady Lions to draw within a point of the lead, but Morgan Aguilar and Shaina Kriews hit on deep shots of their own to once again build up the cushion.
A late bucket from Locke put the Lady Falcons up by 7 as the teams went into the break.
Lakeview Academy came out of the break with plenty of fire, getting 3s from Eliza Snyder and Elise Roark and then tying things up with a couple of Eliza Snyder free throws late, but 3-pointers from Flowery Branch's Bella Brick and Rylee Rothschild put the Lady Falcons back up by 6 going into the final quarter.
That was where Eliza Snyder shined the most, starting the scoring off with a layup and later dishing an assist to sister Joelle Snyder to slowly close the gap. She hit on a 3 from several feet beyond the arc with less than three minutes remaining to get within a point and then Allen put back Snyder's miss with a minute and a half to play to take the lead.
Joelle Snyder briefly turned the ball over while Lakeview Academy led by 3 with less than 10 seconds to play, but Roark made a key steal and got the ball back to Eliza Snyder, who was immediately fouled, giving her the opportunity to put the game away with a pair of clutch free throws.
With the win, the Lady Lions will take on North Hall on Monday in the Lanierland girls championship game.