The final seconds ticked off the clock as Sandy Creek struggled to retrieve the ball and get in inbounds.
Mann finished 1-for-11 from the field.
Columbia’s woes on offense were reflected in the performance of its two stars — Miah Spencer and Yaktavia Hickson. Spencer, who came in averaging a DeKalb County-leading 18.7 points, was held to five points on 2-of-10 shooting. She didn’t make a field goal until making a layup with about five minutes to play.
Hickson, who averages 15.8 points, finished with a team-high 11 points, but had only two in the first half as she battled foul trouble. Hickson picked up her third foul late in the first quarter and did not play in the second.
Columbia’s aggressive defense held Sandy Creek to 21-percent shooting (4-for-19) in the first half as the Eagles built a 16-9 halftime lead. But Columbia couldn’t take advantage, and Sandy Creek’s Jasmine Jones made the Eagles pay.
Jones scored 15 second-half points, including all eight of her team’s third-quarter points and a 3-pointer to open the fourth, and her jumper with 2:26 to play gave the Patriots their first lead of the game at 35-33.
Sandy Creek, the only unranked team or No. 4 seed to reach the championship game in any classification, finished at 25-7.