SUWANEE - Even though the Region 7-AAAAA tournament is still weeks away, Saturday night's game between Peachtree Ridge and Collins Hill had a definite playoff tone.
Each team had three different players score in double digits, but it was Khalid Mutakabbir's 10 points in the final two stanzas that helped pull the Lions to a 69-65 win in overtime.
Mutakabbir, who finished with 19 points, six rebounds and three blocks, scored four of those in the fourth and six more in the extra period, giving the Lions the lead for good at 61-59 with 2:21 to play on a jumper.
"It was a great team effort," Peachtree Ridge head coach Keith Arrington said. "We don't change too much on how we play each game. If we don't play hard, we aren't going to win."
Collins Hill was able to use its size advantage with post players Jeremy Olsen and Reed Buck to help keep the Lions at bay for most of the game. The Eagles led after each of the first three quarters, including a 44-39 margin headed into the fourth.
With 5:43 left in regulation, the Eagles (13-5, 8-4) were still in good shape with a 50-44 lead, but things started to go wrong over the next two minutes.
During that span, Peachtree Ridge (13-5, 9-2) went on a quick 6-0 spurt, finally equalizing things at 50-50 on a shot by Daryan Griffin with 3:51 to play.
Collins Hill quickly responded with a layup by Saah Nimley and two free throws by Kameron Phillips to go back up 54-50 with 3:06 left.
Mutakabbir brought his team back with the game's next four points with 2:30 to go but the Eagles reclaimed the lead off a free throw by Phillips.
Peachtree Ridge's C.J. Blackwell, who spent most of his time in the paint, came outside on the next possession and hit a huge 3-pointer for a 57-55 lead with 2:00 to go, but Olsen quickly tied it at 57-57 just 14 seconds later. That 3-pointer by Blackwell were his last points of the night but he finished with a game-high 25 points.
With 1:00 to go, the Lions attempted to hold the ball for the last shot but Griffin, who finished with 15 points, was called for traveling while driving the baseline with seven seconds left, a turnover forced by Olsen's presence.
Nimley quickly brought the inbounds pass up court and got off a good look from the top of the key but his shot caromed off the back iron.
The Lions then jumped out ahead in overtime with four quick points, claiming a lead it would not relinquish.
"I thought we played real well until the last three minutes of regulation," Collins Hill head coach Josh Grayson said. "After that, we gave them too many easy baskets and they just outplayed us."
Olsen, a Utah signee, led his team with 22 points while grabbing 14 rebounds. Olsen recently set a milestone when he surpassed Brian Keckeisen as the career leading scorer for the Eagles, topping Keckeisen's mark of 1,112 points.
Buck added 16 points for the Eagles while Nimley finished with 15. The win put Peachtree Ridge in sole possession of second place in the region while Collins Hill remained in third.
"I told our guys this was a great win and to enjoy it but I also told them we have to prepare for the upcoming region tournament," Arrington said. "Whoever gets better between now and then is who is going to be successful."
Collins Hill girls 40, Peachtree Ridge 38
Crystal Chaney scored 12 points and Marissa Rimbert added 11 more to help the Eagles knock off Peachtree Ridge 40-38, snapping the Lions' modest three-game winning streak.
The Eagles were in control much of the night and carried a 33-22 lead into the final period. Peachtree Ridge rallied in fourth on the shoulders of Brittany Jack, who scored 10 in the quarter and led all players with 17 in the game.
The Lions pulled within a single point at 39-38 with under one second to play off a 3-pointer Gabby Cole but were able to get no closer.