Seconds left in the game, and Emily Wood drove baseline. This in itself is no small feat, considering Wood stands 5-foot-5.
One of the smallest players on the court, she not only drove to the hoop, but somehow found a teammate standing wide open while surrounded by towering defenders.
Standing in the low block, opposite all the action, Jessica Noll caught Wood's backdoor pass for the open layup -- and then everyone watched as the ball bounced and rolled and finally fell through the rim for the game-winning bucket against Dallastown with 26 seconds to play.
"I was praying," Wood said, about watching the ball roll around the
Noll's bucket -- her only points of the game -- accounted for the last points in West York's back-and-forth 40-39 victory.
Noll said: "Very, very nerve-wracking."
But the shot finally dropped.
"It seemed like in the second half we couldn't get the ball to go in no matter what we did," Wood said. "It fell when it needed to."
The win propelled West York (16-2, 10-2 Division I) into sole possession of first place in divisional play. Dallastown (13-6, 9-3 D-I) drops into a second-place tie with Red Lion in YAIAA Division I. West York and Red Lion play Feb. 5.
"That's one (play) I believe where we have a great connection at all times because I know when I'm in Emily's position someone's going to always be in that position," Noll said. "So I had to be there for Emily."
West York survived a game with three lead changes in the final 2:51. All told the game featured 14 lead changes and four ties.
Wood pushed West York out to a five-point halftime lead, scoring 14 of her 16 points in the first half. And West York accomplished all this without leading scorer Sarah Shearer (out for the season, knee injury).
Dallastown countered by outscoring West York, 12-6, in the third quarter, holding the Bulldogs without a field goal for the opening 5:25 of the second half.
Still the game could have took a very different look if a driving runner by Dallastown's Shae Grim would have counted with 4.8 seconds to play. Grim received the ball at the wing, drove the lane and sank a scoop shot while falling to the floor. Video replay shows she took two steps without dribbling, shooting before she took what would have been an illegal third step.
Nonetheless, the trailing official whistled her for a travel.
"Shae did exactly what I wanted her to do," Dallastown coach Mary Manlove said. "She went strong to the hoop, she made a strong move, and she made a layup. Unfortunately it didn't go our way."
Jackson 2 1-2 6, Lehman 0 0-1 0, Shannon Thomas 4 1-2 12, Grim 1 4-4 6, Anstine 0 0-0 0, McGowan 2 0-0 4, Amari Johnson 5 1-3 11. Totals14 7-12 39.
WEST YORK (40)
Fuhrman 0 0-0 0, Emily Wood 5 4-5 16, Johnson 1 0-0 2, Kari Lankford 1 8-9 10, Noll 1 0-2 2, Zinn 3 1-3 8, Krepps 1 0-2 2. Totals12 13-21 40.
Dallastown 12 9 12 6 -- 39
West York 11 15 6 8 -- 40
3-point goals -- Dallastown 4 (Thomas 3, Jackson); West York 3 (Wood 2, Zinn).
JV score -- West York, 32-22.