First place in YAIAA Division III hinged on the arc of York Catholic's Jania Wright's shot late in regulation of Tuesday's game against Delone Catholic.
It hinged on her shot once, then twice. Then a third time and a fourth time.
Wright missed both of her free throws when the Fighting Irish trailed 42-41 with 1.6 seconds left, then went to the line again after securing the rebound and being fouled on a putback attempt as time expired. With 0.0 beaming on the clock and every other player watching from the bench, she made her first free throw to tie the game and threw her arms in the air. But the second shot, which could have won the game, bounced off the rim and onto the ground, sending the two rivals into overtime.
“I said to Janai, ‘that’s one of the hardest shots in basketball to make,’" Bankos said of the two attempts with no time on the clock. "I wish they would change the rule that you could put your kids on the line while they’re shooting.”
The Squirettes took full advantage of the overtime period, starting out on a 6-2 run and burying enough free throws the rest of the way to leave with a 53-49 win. It's Delone Catholic's first road win against York Catholic in more than a decade, Squirettes coach Gerry Eckenrode said.
Delone Catholic senior Lilly Singleton, who missed her first four free throws of the game, knocked down a pair of free throws to get the scoring started in overtime, then drained two more late in the extra period to put the game out of reach.
“I told her to keep her elbow underneath and shoot it higher," Eckenrode said. "She did a great job.”
The Squirettes held York Catholic star guard Kate Bauhof to five points and just one field goal, as a combination of Katie Laughman and Elise Knobloch stuck by Bauhof's side all game to keep her from getting any open space.
“I have two excellent defenders in Elise and Katie," Eckenrode said. "When one gets tired, the other can switch off. I’m very fortunate to have two tremendous defenders that can handle that situation.”
On the other side of the ball, Laughman scored a game-high 20 points, including a key layup to break a 44-44 tie in overtime, and Knobloch scored 10. Ally Shipley added 13.
The Squirettes led by as much as 12 points in the third quarter, but the Fighting Irish responded with a 16-0 run to briefly regain the lead and set up the exciting finish.
“A lot of youthful things happened out there for both teams," Bankos said. "But we grew up a little bit today which was exciting to see. I was proud of them. They were down by (12), they could’ve folded but they didn’t. It was just a fun game to watch with the different runs."
Delone Catholic 53, York Catholic 49
Delone Catholic (53)
Katie Laughman 8 2-4 20, Elise Knobloch 3 2-6 10, Ally Shipley 5 2-5 13, Singleton 2 5-10 7, Vingsen 0 3-6 3. Totals — 18 14-31 53.
York Catholic (49)
Emily Laslo 6 1-2 13, Bauhof 2 3-4 5, Rader 3 1-2 7, Gina Citrone 5 2-4 15, Sterner 1 0-2 2, Wright 3 1-5 7. Totals — 20 8-19 49.
Delone Catholic _ 13 _ 12 _ 9 _ 8 _ 11 _ — _ 53
York Catholic _ 11 _ 9 _ 16 _ 6 _ 7 _ — _ 49
3-point goals — Delone Catholic 4 (Laughman 1, Knobloch 2, Shipley 1), York Catholic 2 (Citrone 3) .
JV score — York Catholic 40, Delone Catholic 37.