The contest had been scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m. but game referees reportedly went to the wrong location and the region tournament contest did not start until around 9:30 p.m. at the Woodland gymnasium.
The two teams were tied a 9-all after a quarter of play and South Paulding began to pull away by the break with a 22-18 lead.
The visitors stretched their lead to 36-30 after three periods of play. South Paulding outscored Woodland 16-8 in the final period.
The Lady Wildcats, who had not played a game since Feb. 6, showed signs of rust throughout the evening, hitting just 19 percent of their shots from the field and 55 percent of their free throws.
Woodland went 6-for-16 from the field in the fourth quarter and paid a price.
“For whatever reason, we couldn’t get in a rhythm,” head coach Kyle Morgan said Tuesday. “It’s unfortunate our season ended this way, but we didn’t make enough plays.
“It’s usually difficult to win when you’re missing this many shots.”
The Lady Wildcats’ overall record dropped to 18-8 on the season with the loss.
Even with the disappointing loss, Woodland put the wraps on a highly successful season.
The Lady Wildcats won first place in their sub-region during the regular season, winning 13 region games. That compares with the three region games they had won a year earlier.
Morgan said his players put forth the effort needed to bring about the big turnaround.
“I was fortunate to inherit a real good group of seniors who were committed each and every day to getting better,” the coach said. “They will be missed for their play on the court and also for what they brought to the team off the court, their commitment level and their maturity.
“They are just good people.”
The Woodland seniors are Idraiah Thompson, Brooke Hummel, Jasmin Askew, Katie Harris, Carly Bucy, Katie Cheek and Marissa Dubose.
Morgan said he expects to see dividends from their hard work for years because they have set the bar high for their successors at the school.
“It makes a big difference to have a group that sets the tone for the younger players to look up and see what’s expected of them. This group was committed to being successful from day one,” he said.
He said the players showed the kind of maturity that it takes to not only be successful in sports but at whatever they choose to do in life.
“Right now it may be hard for our players to remember the positives from our year,” he said, “but it was a special season with a special group of kids and I was proud to coach them.
“My regret is that I didn’t have an opportunity to coach them more than just one season.”
He said another key to the successful season for the Lady Wildcats was the support the team received from the Woodland community.
“We were real fortunate to have a supportive group of student, parents and faculty,” he said. “We appreciate everyone’s support who came out and watched us play.”