Unfortunately, Northwest Whitfield broke the bank, so to speak, en route to a 62-60 victory that it didn't salt away until about 30 seconds remained in the game.
"We had it tied up with 30 seconds left," head coach Mike Tobin said, "and they drove in for a layup and drew a foul, for a three-point lead.
"That was the backbreaker for us."
Woodland tried to claw its way back but couldn't and Northwest grabbed an important region win.
It was the third close loss in a row for the Wildcats, who fell 50-47 to Cass on Jan. 7 and 60-59 to Forsyth Central in overtime on Jan. 8. The Wildcats lost by a combined six points in the three contests.
The game was evenly matched throughout. Woodland held a 16-14 lead at the end of the first quarter and Northwest went up 29-26 at the break.
Northwest stretched that lead to 46-41 as the third quarter ended. Woodland outscored its host 19-16 in the final period but came up a bucket short.
Tobin said the Wildcats have to hold its opponent to the defensive fire on the road in order to win.
"We hope we can hold them to 50 points or less and we just didn't do it tonight," he said.
R.J. Williams led Woodland with 17 points.
The loss drops Woodland's record to 10-5 overall and 1-5 in Region 7-AAAA. Northwest improved to 6-9 and 1-4.
It doesn't get any easier for Wildcats on Friday as they host Sequoyah, which is currently ranked No. 2 in the GACA state coaches poll.
Carterville 61, Murray 36
Cartersville doubled up on Murray County early Tuesday night in their game and maintained that type lead throughout in grabbing a 61-36 victory over their region foe.
The Lady Purple Hurricanes grabbed a 20-10 lead at the end of the first quarter and grew the lead by four points for a 30-16 margin at the break.
The Lady Canes (8-6, 2-0 in Region 7B-AAA) really blew past Murray (3-10, 0-2) in the third quarter, torching the nets for 25 points while allowinga meager 9 points by their opponents.
Adrianne Green led the way for Cartersville with 14 points, followed by Kaelyn Irby, 12; Katie O'Connor, 11; Stephanie Will, 8; Jazmine Baldwin, 8; Carlee Bragg, 7; and Kea Garnigan, 2.
The Lady Canes return to the hardwood today, when it visits Gilmer High at 5 p.m. for a makeup game.