That is not where the top-ranked Black Hills High School girls basketball team wanted to be at the end of Friday night.
With Maisy Williams, the Wolves’ towering sophomore forward, sitting on the bench bleeding.
With three minutes, two seconds remaining — and the Wolves trailing by three points in a Class 2A semifinal game against Burlington-Edison — Williams was elbowed in the face fighting for the ball.
One of her front teeth popped out and fell to the floor, and she promptly headed for the sideline clutching her face.
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Williams — the game’s leading scorer with 21 points — was tended to by medical staff, and could only watch as the Tigers held on, closing out a 59-55 win to send Black Hills to a consolation game at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
“It’s a huge loss for us,” Black Hills coach Tanya Greenfield said. “I really thought our team responded well. We put ourselves in position to tie that game. …
“I’m proud of them for being able to do that despite being worried about Maisy in the back of their heads, and seeing her bloody coming off the floor.”
The Wolves missed four shots and turned the ball over twice in the next three minutes, and Annaleis Reyes stole the ball and converted a breakaway layup with 1:52 left to give the Tigers a five-point advantage.
But Black Hills made a last-ditch effort to take the game back.
“We work on situations every day in practice,” Greenfield said. “They played out that last 35 seconds perfectly
“That’s exactly how we would have wanted it to go, to put ourselves in a position to tie the game at the end.”
Black Hills point guard Lindsey Nurmi, a junior, hit a long 3-pointer with 36 seconds to go to cut the lead back to three points.
Burlington-Edison built it back to four on free throws, but Black Hills freshman Megan River responded with a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 16 seconds remaining.
Reyes made one of two free throws at the other end to push the lead to 58-55 with 12.3 seconds remaining.
The Wolves got the ball in-bounds cleanly, but Rachel LaBelle’s contested 3-pointer from the corner rimmed out.
Emma Duff added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Wolves, and Nurmi scored eight points.
Brandy Smith and Allyson Ray scored 18 points apiece for Burlington-Edison and combined for eight 3-pointers. Ray pulled down 13 rebounds to complete the double-double.
Black Hills led by as many as 10 points in the second quarter before the Tigers started heating up from beyond the perimeter.
“We just didn’t get enough stops,” Greenfield said. “They went on a run and we couldn’t respond to that. We didn’t get defensive stops when we had to have them.”
Black Hills (23-2) plays for third or fifth place at 1 p.m. Saturday. Greenfield said Williams, who went left the tournament site for the hospital following the game, is doubtful to play.
“The sting is real right now, and it’s deep and it hurts,” Greenfield said. “But they’re talking about already trying to win for Maisy, and trying to walk out of here with third place.”
Burlington-Edison 8 16 16 19_59
Black Hills 17 11 12 15_55
BE – Smith 18, Ray 18, Reyes 9, Gundersen 3, Watson 8, Woods 3
BH – Williams 21, Patti 4, Duff 12, Nurmi 8, River 3, Moloney 5, Serhan 2