MACON - Hebron Christian had a 23-point lead midway through the third quarter but needed a deflected pass on Wesleyan’s final possession to preserve a 62-60 victory in the Class 3A girls basketball championship game Friday in the Macon Coliseum.

Top-ranked Hebron Christian still led by six points with 6.8 seconds left when Wesleyan’s Eva Garabadian was fouled attempting a 3-pointer. In the pursuing confusion over the number of fouls on the Hebron Christian player, the Lions also were assessed a technical foul for a late substitution.

Garabadian made two of three free throws for the personal foul, and Bryanna Preston made both for the technical, cutting the lead to 62-60. Wesleyan got possession back because of the technical, but Hebron Christian knocked the ball loose, and Wesleyan was not able to get off a shot.

This game was called more tightly than the previous four girls championship games this week. A total of 42 fouls were called, with nine players finishing with four or more, and 50 three throws were attempted, 40 of which came in the second half.

“There were a lot of free throws shot in the second half,” Hebron Christian coach Jan Azar said. “I don’t know how many, but I just felt like it changed the flow of the game. But we can only control what we can control, and we cannot turn the ball over. So whether I agree or disagree with the free-throw line, it doesn’t matter. It matters that we control what we can control, and we didn’t do a great job of that until the last defensive stop.”

The championship was the third in four seasons for Hebron Christian and the 16th for Azar, who won 13 titles at Wesleyan from 2002-18.

It also completed one of the most dominant seasons in Georgia this year. The Lions finished 30-2, their only losses coming against Long Island Lutheran (N.Y.) and Monteverde Academy (Fla.) on back-to-back nights in mid-December.

The two-point margin of victory in the championship game was easily the smallest this season for the Lions, whose closest victory had been a 66-57 win over Class A Division I finalist St. Francis on Jan. 3. The Lions won their previous four playoff games by an average of 49.5 points.

Hebron Christian led 19-18 after a 3-pointer by Wesleyan’s Chit-Chat Wright with 4:20 remaining in the first half. The Lions then outscored Wesleyan 13-2 over the remainder of the quarter and 11-0 to start the third, with a layup by Aubrey Beckham making it a 43-20 game.

“We were pushing the tempo, we were getting to the basket, we were getting it inside, but then the fouls started,” Azar said. “Then there were a lot of free throws. But that’s how we gained the lead, by pushing the tempo and getting up and down.”

Second-ranked Wesleyan (27-4) then went on a 15-4 run of its own, paced by 8-of-11 free-throw shooting by Preston, to cut the lead to 12 points by the end of the quarter. The Wolves stayed within reach in the fourth quarter but never got closer than six points until the flurry of free throws in the final seconds.

“I was really proud of my team for the fight I saw in them at the end of the game,” Azar said. “I wish we hadn’t let them climb back in it the way we did.”

Wright had 24 points, and Preston had 22 points and 10 rebounds for Wesleyan.

Beckham scored 15 points and Danielle Osho had 14 points and 15 rebounds to lead a more balanced attack for Hebron Christian, which also got nine points from Mia James and eight each from Ja’Kerra Butler and Nicky Daniel.

Wesleyan - 8-12-15-25 - 60

Hebron Christian - 13-19-15-15 - 62

Wesleyan (60): Chit-Chat Wright 24, Bryanna Preston 22, Eva Garabadian 2, Shayla Bahr 6, Johanna Potter 4, Grace McLeod 2.

Hebron Christian (62): Ja’Kerra Butler 8, Mia James 9, Aubrey Beckham 15, Amiya Porter 3, Danielle Osho 14, Camryn Register, Alanna Beckham, Aniya Moodie 5, Nicky Daniel 8.