Twice the Chiawana girls basketball team was seconds away from an epic upset Friday.
And twice those opportunities slipped through their grasp.
The Riverhawks could only watch helplessly as Meads Morgan Douglass made a layup as time expired to beat Chiawana 71-69 in overtime in the District 5/8 Tournament championship game in Pasco.
We had two chances at the end of regulation and overtime to get the shot to win it and we didnt get it, Chiawana coach Steve Davis said. They made a great defensive play.
The Riverhawks (16-7) had the ball with 15 seconds left and the game tied at 69-69. The Mead defense forced Chiawanas Bianca Gonzales into attempting a 3-point shot that was blocked by Sue Winger with 6 seconds left.
The ball bounced to Meads Morgan Douglass, who grabbed it near half court and raced the other way. Gonzales gave chase, but couldnt catch the speedy Douglass who laid it up and in as time expired.
I was trying to sprint back, but I was in the wrong spot, Chiawanas Delaney Hodgins said. All I could think was, Oh, crap.
That was the mood of nearly every Chiawana fan in the stands, as an amazing comeback from the Riverhawks ended in deflating fashion.
The loss means Chiawana will host Gonzaga Prep at 7 p.m. today in an elimination game with the winner advancing to the Class 4A regionals.
The Riverhawks nearly didnt have to play that game, though.
They rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit, and after two huge defensive plays at the end of regulation, had the ball with 7 seconds left. But the Mead defense again held, and freshman Braydey Hodgins missed a baseline shot to send it to overtime.
In the extra period, Chiawana took a 64-61 lead on a Sierra Perez 3-pointer. After a pair of Mead free throws, Danielle Loving made two of her own to put Chiawana on top 66-63 with 2:38 to go.
Chiawana then had two possessions in a row with a chance to extend the lead, but twice turned it over.
Mead then took a 67-66 lead on two free throws and a layup, but as she did most of the night Hodgins grabbed the ball, went to the basket and converted a three-point play for a 69-67 lead with 43 seconds left.
Meads Mackenzie McPhee then tied it on short jumper to set up the wild finish.
When she blocked it I saw 5 seconds left ... they did a great job and she was just quick enough, Davis said.
The Riverhawks now must find a way to forget the pain of Friday and bounce back against an equally tough Spokane opponent tonight.
Two weeks ago, Chiawana lost a heartbreaker at home to Walla Walla on the games final play and then came out the next night and thumped the Blue Devils.
Weve proved that we can battle with tough teams that people thought we couldnt, Hodgins said. We have to bring that (today). I think we know we can do it. We know what we have to do to beat them.
It will take another big game out of Hodgins, who poured in 33 points. She made 11 field goals, but uncharacteristically missed five free throws.
In the fourth quarter Friday, Mead took a 53-41 lead with 6:02 left and seemed to have the game on ice. The Panthers still led 57-47 with 3:40 left, before the Riverhawks final push.
Gonzales started it with a pair of free throws, Hodgins added a layup and Perez hit a 3-pointer to pull Chiawana within 57-54 with 2:20 left.
After Jade Redmon hit two free throws to put Mead up 59-54, Hodgins made a layup to pull Chiawana within 59-56.
Redmon then made two more free throws, but Hogdins responded with a three-point play to pull within 61-59 with 30 seconds left.
Redmon stepped out of bounds on the ensuing inbounds play, and Hodgins promptly made another layup to tie the game.
At the other end, Redmon lost the ball out of bounds with 11 seconds left, but the Riverhawks couldnt get a clean look and the game went to overtime.
Weve been in this situation before, Davis said. A few years ago we lost to Lewis and Clark and then came back and beat Gonzaga Prep in one of the best games Ive ever been apart of.
Weve just got to wake up and be ready to play again.
Hodgins finished with 33 points and five rebounds. Danielle Loving, playing in her first game this season after tearing her Achilles tendon during the second practice of the year, scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds. Braydey Hodgins added 10 points and played solid defense in the second half.
Redmons 26 points led Mead, anchored by 18-of-20 shooting from the free-throw line.
MEAD Mackenzie McPhee 3 3-6 9, Sue Winger 1 0-0 2, Delany Junkermier 4 4-4 14, Ashlyn Lewey 5 2-3 13, Morgan Douglass 3 0-0 7, Jade Redmon 4 18-20 26, Kierstyn Russell 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 27-33 71.
CHIAWANA Delaney Hodgins 11 10-15 33, Braydey Hodgins 3 3-5 10, Danielle Loving 4 2-2 10, Sierra Perez 3 0-0 9, Darbi Pink 1 0-0 3, Bianca Gonzales 1 2-2 4, Bailey Cartwright 0 0-0 0, Cierah Alferness 0 0-0 0, Molly Sullivan 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 17-24 69.
Mead 10 17 20 14 10 71
Chiawana 13 6 20 22 8 69
3-point goalsMead 4 (Junkermier 2, Lewey, Douglass), Chiawana 6 (Perez 3, D. Hodgins, B. Hodgins, Pink). ReboundsMead 46 (Lewey 15), Chiawana 35 (Hodgins 8). Total foulsMead 21, Chiawana 19. Fouled out Mead, Junkermier.