With just over a minute left to play and Shenandoah High within striking distance, Britany Farnsworth hit a three-pointer to bring the Lady Zeps within three points of Barnesville 9 or so it seemed.
Instead, the basket was waived off as Barnesville's Mariah Miller hunched over in agony on the other end of the court, keeping the Lady Shamrocks' two-possession lead in tact and causing quite a stir from the fans in attendance.
The call halted fifth-seeded Shenandoah's momentum and enabled third-ranked Barnesville to walk away with a 57-53 victory in the Division III Sectional semifinals at Cambridge High on Saturday.
"They should never stop play in a situation like that" Shenandoah coach Lynn Miley said. "It's ridiculous to take away a chance for us to win the game like that. I'm not one to criticize the officials, but to take our season away from us on a call like that really hurts. We were coming back and it killed us."
Heidi Hines led Barnesville (10-11) with 26 points and six rebounds.
She opened up play with the Lady Shamrocks' first 12 points, setting a torrid pace before finishing with 15 of Barnesville's 19 first-quarter points.
Shenandoah (8-13) abandoned the zone in the second quarter in an effort to contain the sophomore guard.
"Hines had the first 12 points of the game for us," Barnesville coach Jamie Carpenter said, "so they switched to man-to-man in the second quarter and it slowed us down. Jaymie Parks did a great job on Heidi after the first quarter. She's a terrific defender."
The change worked as the Lady Zeps outscored Barnesville 21-6 in the quarter, holding Hines scoreless and building a seven-point half-time lead.
"We lost intensity in the second quarter," Carpenter said. "We didn't have all five kids going full steam at once. I told them it has to be all five girls and not just two or three going all out."
Physical play was on display for much of the evening, but the intensity level ramped up in the second half as both teams scrapped for every advantage possible.
Shenandoah held a 34-28 lead with six minutes remaining in the third, but Barnesville slowly closed the gap, knotting the game at 37-37 with 1:40 to go.
Parks converted on consecutive free throw attempts with 40 seconds left to help the Lady Zeps take a three point lead going into the final eight minutes.
Foul troubles stifled Shenandoah in the fourth quarter. Parks, a senior point guard, fouled out halfway through the quarter, leaving the Lady Zeps with a young lineup down the stretch.
Cali Ginn fouled out shortly after, leaving freshman guard Renee Schweiterman to patrol the perimeter.
Barnesville reached the double-bonus early in the quarter, going the line 23 times in the quarter and converting 13 opportunities.
The Lady Shamrocks' lead reached 11 points after a Mariah Miller free throw with just under two minutes remaining.
"I just told the girls late to box out and make their foul shots toward the end," Carpenter said. "If we did that we cant lose. I guess I forgot to tell them to protect the ball though, because we coughed it up a few times there at the end."
Shenandoah made one final run at victory as Miranda Redden drained a three and Sami Schott hit a layup to cut the lead to 55-49 before the controversial call was made to negate Farnsworth's triple.
"The girls played great tonight," Miley said. "There was so much intensity. These girls have so much heart. I'm so proud of everything they did out there tonight."
Megan Phillips finished with 10 points and five rebounds for Barnesville and Miller finished with seven points and seven rebounds, including two on a crucial putback late in the game after missing consecutive free throw opportunities.
"They didn't have four people on the line to rebound and Mariah just snuck through and got her hands on the ball and put it up to get the two points," Carpenter said. "She made a key pass late that really helped us too."
Farnsworth led Shenandoah with 14 points and seven rebounds. Ginn added 11 points, including three triples, and Parks finished with nine points, three rebounds and two assists. Sami Schott led the team with eight rebounds.
Shenandoah held the shooting advantage, hitting 17-of-44 attempts from the field to Barnesville's 15-of-49.
The Lady Shamrocks held a huge advantage from the foul line, converting 24-of-39 attempts while Shenandoah hit 12- of-23 attempts.
NEXT -- Barnesville takes on Fort Frye on Friday at 7 p.m., at Cambridge High School.