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Taylor drains 3-point buzzer-beater to seal 52-51 OT win | Girls Basketball
With no more substitutes available and sophomore Kelsey Barnes on the bench with five fouls, the Wolverines went into overtime with the odds stacked against them.
But with just seven ticks left on the clock, freshman Liz Taylor dribbled the length of the court and buried a 3-point shot to lift the Wolverines to a dramatic 52-51 win on the road Tuesday at Concrete.
"It was just insane," Friday Harbor Head Coach Eric Jangard said. "It was a legitimate NBA 3-pointer. It went in just as the buzzer sounded and everyone on our bench went wild."
And with good reason.
It's just the second win in league play for Friday Harbor and the team's first victory since Jan. 10. It also put an end to a nine-game skid and elevated the Wolverines out of the league cellar and into a tie with Concrete, at 2-9, at the bottom of the Northwest 1A/2B League standings.
Taylor wasn't the primary option when the Wolverines, trailing by two, inbounded the ball under their own basket with just seven seconds left in overtime. The Lions had just knocked down two free throws to snap a 49-49 tie and grab the lead, and immediately double-teamed point-guard Brooke Jangard in order to deny her the ball on the inbound pass. But that left Taylor wide open and the freshman, Jangard said, did not hesitate.
It was only the second basket of the game for Taylor, who three days earlier lit up Shoreline Christian with a career-high 19 points. She tallied just five points, and saved the best for last.
"We kept encouraging her to shoot if she was open," Jangard said. "She said after the game that she knew she was open, and that she didn't really think about and just let it fly."
The Wolverines (2-8 league, 3-13) overcame a sizzling offensive performance by Concrete's Tasha Smith to post the win. Smith tossed in 27 points and hauled in 25 rebounds in the overtime contest. Barnes tallied 16 points to lead Friday Harbor, while sophomore Maggie Anderson added 14 and freshman Mandy Turnbull contributed a season-high nine points.
Friday Harbor opens post-season play Tuesday at Coupeville and, Jangard said, the victory over Concrete couldn't be more timely. The Wolverines close out their regular-season schedule with back-to-back league games this weekend, beginning Friday at home against Mount Vernon Christian, followed by a contest on the road Saturday at Shoreline Christian.
Jangard believes both are "winnable" games.
"Hopefully, it's a win we can build on and one that can give us some momentum for our final two league games and heading into the playoffs," he said.