LAKEWOOD - Kiley Hanratty had a hard time finding the perfect words to describe the shot of her career on Friday night.
Timberline’s 5-foot-3 senior guard hit a 10-foot jumper with 2.4 seconds remaining to give the third-ranked Blazers a thrilling 52-50 victory over Auburn Mountainview in the West Central District III girls basketball tournament at Clover Park High School.
The Blazers won a game that was back and fourth the final eight minutes.
With 10.8 seconds left and the score tied at 50 after two free throws by the Lions’ Erica Lombardo, Blazers guard Camille Williams drove the length of the court to the right baseline and dished off to an open Hanratty, who sank the 10-foot jumper, sending the Timberline players and fans into a frenzy.
“I didn’t see it go in, but that’s OK,” said an elated Hanratty, who scored seven of her nine points in the second half. “I couldn’t see it when I fell over, but then I heard everyone cheering.”
In a season of firsts for Timberline (21-0), the program guaranteed itself its first berth in the regional round of the state tournament.
The win sets up a semifinal matchup today against fourth-ranked Kennedy, a 55-27 winner over Enumclaw.
The game tips at 6:30 p.m. at Clover Park, and the winner moves on to Monday’s district-title game.
The Blazers and Lions met Dec. 13, with Timberline coming away with a commanding 69-45 win.
But Auburn Mountainview put Timberline in a position it hasn’t seen much this season – fighting to win a down-to-the-wire game.
The fourth quarter saw nine lead changes and three ties. Junior Caitlin Carr took over for Auburn Mountainview (17-7) in the second half with her 3-point shooting.
The 5-foot-11 post knocked down four 3-pointers but missed her final three attempts from beyond the arc in the closing minutes.
It was Carr’s three-point play on a put-back that tied the game at 48 with 1:52 to play. Carr led all scorers with 26 points.
Timberline’s Sophie McKee missed four free throws in in a 22-second span of the final minute, opening the door for one last try for the Lions.
Trailing 50-48 after Sasha Weber’s bucket with 29 seconds to go, Lombardo was fouled on a put-back try with 10.8 seconds remaining and hit two free throws to tie the game at 50.
Williams, who was named the 3A Narrows League MVP earlier this week, didn’t score a field goal in the second half, but found ways to contribute. She had five second-half assists, including the winning one to Hanratty.
“We dig deeper than a lot of teams because we want it so badly,” Hanratty said.
Williams had 11 of her team-high 12 points in the first two quarters, including six points in a 2-minute span. Cymone Martin and Weber each finished with 11 points.
Rainier 43, Onalaska 40: The Mountaineers beat the Loggers to earn the No. 1 seed to state regionals, their second straight District IV title and their third in four years.
Prairie 73, Capital 24: The Cougars struggled from the start against the second-ranked Falcons.
Capital faces Mountain View of Vancouver at 4:30 p.m. today at Clover Park in a loser-out game.
Olympia 62, Tahoma 46: The Bears had three players in double figures – Molly Spiller (14), Tayler Fettig (12) and Kara Sherman (11) as Olympia remains alive. The Bears play Auburn Riverside today at 2:30 p.m. at Stadium High School.
Kentwood 66, Olympia 49: Alex Weber-Brader had a game-high 19 points, but no other Olympia player scored in double figures.
Olympia faces Federal Way at 6:15 p.m. today at Rogers High School in a loser-out game.
Adna 56, Northwest Christian 53: The Navigators still have a shot at state with a game at 2:30 p.m. today in Chehalis.