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CPA lost the district title to PCA in a coin flip last season.

This year it came down to overtime, but Christ Presbyterian Academy won the Division II-A District 3 championship with a 51-44 victory over visiting Providence Christian Academy on Tuesday night.

“Anytime you can (win the district) it’s a big win, but we do know that there’s just going to be more games to play and Providence is such an amazing opponent,” CPA coach Becky LeGate said. “And we’re going to see them again, for sure.”

Third-ranked CPA (22-3, 15-0) handed PCA (16-7, 13-2), the defending state champion, its only district losses, including a 55-46 defeat on Jan. 10.

A.C. Markham, a 92 percent free-throw shooter who led PCA with 16 points, hit two foul shots with 6.2 seconds left in regulation, sending the game into OT tied at 41.

CPA outscored PCA 10-3 in OT for its sixth straight win.

“It was brutal, but last year we actually went into three overtimes (against) BGA in the region semifinal game so we were kind of prepared, I guess you could say,” CPA guard Carley Smith said. “We prayed right before the four minutes began and everyone just came together. We hit some big shots and got momentum going, and it escalated from there.”

Smith led the Lions with 19 points and Dartmouth commit Carrington Washburn and Susannah Matthews added 10 points each.

PCA, a Murfreesboro school in its fourth year in the TSSAA, missed six of 13 free throws, including three costly ones in the fourth quarter.

“We always have dogfights with CPA and they’re such great games,” PCA coach Tara James said. “In my opinion, it could go either way on any given night. My hope is that we see them next week.”

CPA’s only losses were to No. 2 Beech (Class AAA), No. 4 Baylor (DII-AA) and Johnson Central (Ky.) All three were by six points or less, including a 51-50 setback to Beech.

“I’m just proud of our girls at how they gritted it out in the overtime,” LeGate said. “What makes them so good is they play so well together. They’re all in it for each other.

“This year defensively we are better than we have been in the past couple of years and we play a very fast-paced game, which works to our strengths.”

Up Next

PCA hosts Battle Ground Academy in a regular-season finale Thursday.

CPA visits Zion Christian in Thursday’s regular-season finale.

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