Washington won 59-56 on Saturday in a Class AAA state quarterfinal at the Northwest Georgia Trade and Convention Center.
"It was close," Allatoona coach Markus Hood said. "That's all we could ask for was to get one off right there. I'm proud of our kids. We fought and battled, and that was a heck of a team out there. My heart goes out to them."
With 16 seconds left to go in the game, Washington (21-9) led by three with a chance to put the game on ice at the free-throw line. But Thomas Jones Jr. missed both of his attempts, giving Allatoona (26-5) a shot.
The Buccaneers couldn't get an open look from beyond the 3-point line, though, as Washington closed down on Allatoona's shooters from the outside.
On a putback attempt in the paint with 2.1 seconds left, Forrestt Lane was fouled and, after missing the first shot, intentionally missed the second. The ensuing rebound was tipped out of bounds, last touched by a Washington player, leaving Allatoona with just 0.7 seconds left to make an inbounds pass and immediately put up a shot.
Ross got the ball, and while he was unable to knock down the shot, he played a big role in keeping Allatoona in the contest. He led the Buccaneers with 23 points, also adding five rebounds, two steals and one block.
"That doesn't surprise me," Hood said. "He is a player. In my opinion, he's one of the top players in Cobb County. People don't see much of him and he doesn't get recognized, but he played his butt off. ... I can't say enough about his performance (Saturday)."
The loss snapped a 17-game winning streak that included a spotless run to the Region 7AAA championship. It also was the Buccaneers' first blemish of the calendar year.
Washington, the No. 3 seed from Region 5AAA, advanced to the Friday's state semifinal against Drew at the Macon Centreplex.
Although Allatoona led 19-16 at the end of the first quarter, the Buccaneers had to play from behind - albeit not by much - throughout the game by virtue of the Bulldogs' eight 3-pointers.
Washington's Darius Miles knocked down four 3-pointers on the way to scoring a team-high 21 points.
Miles was helped by Jones, who finished with 14 points. Frank Barthelemy finished with 11 points, including three 3-pointers.
Allatoona's Daniel Fowler finished with 16 points, four rebounds, two steals and two blocks, while Austin Faulkner had with 11 points.