The Banks County Lady Leopards were in control vs. Union County when the Region 8-AA championship game entered the fourth quarter.
The Lady Leopards held a five-point advantage, 31-26, when the quarter started. By the 6:17 mark, the lead was one point, 31-30, as the team committed four turnovers in the first 1:43 of the quarter.
With under three minutes left, Union County hit a jump shot that put Banks County behind 34-33. It was a deficit that couldn't be made up as the Lady Leopards fell 37-33.
Banks County (14-15) enters the Class AA state tournament as the No. 2 seed. The Lady Leopards will host South Atlanta in the first round, a rematch from the 2016-17 playoffs. South Atlanta won 68-62.
Jenna Reeves led Banks County with 11 points. Heather Vaughan dropped seven points. Jacy Ayers added five points.
After a slow first quarter, which saw the Lady Leopards fall behind 6-4 at the end of the first quarter, the second quarter was the complete opposite. Banks County found its rhythm as part of a 9-0 run to take the lead at 15-10.
The first half ended with Banks County clinging to a 18-16 advantage as Union County closed the first half on a 6-3 run.
It took a little while for the buckets to fall in the third quarter, but Reeves got the hot hand at the 5:42 mark, making a layup, followed by two free throws and another layup to keep Banks County ahead 24-22.
The lead built to as many as seven when Kalyn Beasley hit a floater from the right side of the basket. The Lady Leopards led 31-26 entering the fourth quarter.
After Banks County committed four turnovers, which led to four points for Union County, the Lady Leopards lost the lead when Andelin Hill hit a jumper. Pollie Simpson, though, put Banks County back ahead with a layup at the other end, 33-32.
Simpson's layup was the only basket for the Lady Leopards in the fourth quarter.
Union County responded with a go-ahead jump shot. Banks County committed a total of eight turnovers in the fourth quarter.
The last turnover came with seven seconds left. The deficit was 35-33. After committing the turnover and fouling Union County's Brooke Dockrey, she stepped up and sank two free throws with 3.3 seconds left to ice the win for the Lady Panthers.