OREM — With seven seconds left, all appearances led to fans believing Skyline girls basketball team had everything sewn up, but then it all fell apart for the Eagles.
The shortest player on the court hit the most clutch shots of the year for the Timpanogos Timberwolves, securing a 43-42 victory.
It was a back-and-forth affair for the two teams, as the lead changed14 times with five ties. No team ever held onto a lead of larger than eight points, and with 22 seconds left, the Eagles looked to have taken the lead for good 42-40 after an up and under fast break layup by Katie Walker, her first points of the game.
Then the T-Wolves missed a layup, the Eagles rebounded the miss, and the T-Wolves had to foul intentionally to get another shot at it. The Eagles missed on the front end of a one-and-one with seven seconds left, and without a timeout, the T-Wolves grabbed the board and sent the ball down the court as quickly as possible.
Megan Riggs launched an off-balance trey with .3 seconds remaining that went awry, but Timpanogos was given a reprieve as she was fouled and would have a chance to grab victory back for her team from the line.
The five-foot tall player sank the first, touching nothing but net. She followed with another perfect freebie to even it up and give her team an overtime session at worst. But then, with all eyes on her and the fans screaming in the stands, Riggs sunk the third and final free throw, giving her No. 15 team a victory over the No. 10 Skyline team.
"There's no one I'd rather have step up to the line at that time. She knew she was going to step up and hit them. She plays with such heart, such intensity, and such confidence. She doesn't play like a little guard, she plays 5-foot-9," said Timpanogos first-year coach Melinda Johnsen.
The T-Wolves were without a timeout on that final play of the game, but that didn't worry the coach or the players.4 comments on this story
"With seven seconds left and having to go full court, there's really no play to draw up anyway. It's all about fundamentals. We practice if they miss the free throw and we have to do that outlet every day. We pushed it up and ran the floor well, then things happened. Practice helps," said Johnsen, who was so pleased to have a game like this in the preseason, thinking it will help prepare her team for tough contests later on.
The Timberwolves are now 4-1.