Matt Gade, Deseret News
PLAIN CITY — Sometimes when a basketball coach draws up a great play during a timeout, his or her players all come back out on the floor and do their jobs to execute that play and ...
Something amazing happens.
Well, that scenario took place not once but twice in the last six seconds of Friday's Region 1 girls showdown between Fremont and Layton.
First, Layton coach Van Price called a timeout with 7.4 seconds left and, on a well-conceived inbounds play, sophomore Hailey Bassett got open underneath, hauled in a perfect pass over the top of the defense from Cassidy Anderson and banked in a short shot to give the Lancers a 57-55 lead with just 5.5 seconds remaining.
Since the Lancers still had four fouls to give before putting Fremont in the bonus, and less than 5 seconds remained in the game, it looked like Layton would likely be able to foul the Silverwolves on subsequent inbounds plays often enough to run out the clock without Fremont ever getting in the bonus, much less a decent shot.
But after one such foul helped push the ball up past midcourt, Fremont coach Lisa Dalebout called a timeout to map out her own last-gasp strategy.
Shelbee Molen then took the inbounds pass from Harley Hansen, dribbled a couple of times and launched a 3-pointer from the top of the key that swished through the net as the final buzzer sounded, giving the Silverwolves a wild 58-57 victory that ensured bedlam by Fremont and stunned frustration from Layton.
"It was awesome," Molen said, beaming about what had just transpired at the end. "I don't really know what happened. I just knew that Coach wrote up a really good play for us and I knew that if we executed it we'd have a really good look.
"Kealani (Sagapolu) set a sweet screen and it just worked out. It was awesome. It was way fun. We knew it was gonna be a super-intense game, and it was so fun to be able to come out and compete with these guys.
"I was just as nervous as anyone else," Molen said of her game-winning shot. "I just knew I had to try to play through it for my team. I was just amazed and my team came and swarmed me, and it was an awesome feeling."
Molen, a junior guard, finished with 18 points to share game-high honors with senior center Amanda Wayment, whose steady inside scoring — she scored 14 of her points in the second half — kept Fremont ahead for most of the second half.
Sydnee Ward added eight points, and Hansen and Sagapolu each contributed six for the Silverwolves (12-1, 4-0 Region 1), who took sole possession of the league lead with the narrow win.
Cassidy Anderson and Megan Short scored seven points apiece for the Lancers, who rallied from a nine-point deficit in the first half to grab a 55-52 lead with 34.9 seconds left, only to see Molen tie it with a long 3-pointer from the left angle with 22.9 seconds remaining — setting the stage for the frantic, final few seconds.
"It took a miracle, honestly, to actually put ’em away finally," Dalebout said. "They're a tough team; they have a ton of seniors that play with a lot of poise, and Van's a great coach. We knew it was going to be crazy-hard. They came in here with a lot of confidence.
"I called that last play but obviously (her players) executed really nice and Shelbee's just a dang good player and can pull up from anywhere, so that makes it easy. I think they tried to (foul her); I think they swiped at her, but they missed her as she was coming off (a screen). I thought they were looking to (foul her) and I thought they probably would foul her and we'd have to set up again. I think they tried to, but it just didn't work out. I was grateful it worked out for us — lucky for us."
Dalebout admitted that Molen is the type of player she has come to expect such late-game heroics from.
"Not from most people but from her for sure," the Silverwolves' coach said. "She just knows how to make a play when it's needed. It's incredible."
Yep and, sure enough, when she does, something amazing does indeed happen.