For the limited time Quinlan Christian played on Wednesday night against Capital, she made the ending count.
Christian, who has been fighting flu-like symptoms all week, hit the game-winning 3-pointer with five seconds to play as North Thurston upset the Cougars, 45-42.
“It feels pretty awesome, still haven’t registered it yet,” Christian said.
That could have something to do with being sick.
Or with the blur of a late comeback. The Rams went on a 9-2 run in the final two minutes to chase down Capital — including sinking four straight 3-pointers.
Elana Fairchild, who netted two of those 3-pointers, led all scorers with 12 points. Rokki Brown added another 10.
“Talk about hitting shots when you need to,” North Thurston coach Mike Harn said. “We just hit shots when we absolutely needed to.”
Christian’s 3-pointer gave North Thurston its first and final lead at 43-42. The Cougars turned the ball over on the ensuing possession before sending Brooklyn Harn to the line with three seconds to play.
She knocked down both free throws to ice it.
Those makes eclipsed Capital’s effort from the stripe. The Cougars missed five consecutive free throws down the stretch as a nine-point lead slipped away.
“That’s the game right there,” Capital coach Colleen Wells said. “We didn’t shoot well overall, but normally we’re a little better with free throws.”
Capital was 17 of 67 (25.3 percent) shooting from the floor, and netted six of 17 free throw attempts.
The Cougars comfortably held a lead for the first 31:55 — extending it to as many as nine points multiple times. Delani West led Capital with 10 points.
“We collapsed a little bit, and a lot of it has to do with when your shots are not falling,” Wells said. “It’s tough to win games.”
With the loss, Capital (8-7, 5-4 3A Narrows) still sits squarely in fourth place in the league, which allocates five teams to the district tournament in February.
North Thurston (4-10, 3-6 3A Narrows) moves into a fifth-place tie with Mount Tahoma, which holds the advantage. The T-Birds bested the Rams in the first meeting on Jan. 8, 54-53. The two meet again at North Thurston on Jan. 29.
“We had to go 1-0 tonight to keep our playoff hopes alive,” Harn said. “We’ve done all these matrices to see what we need to do to get into the playoffs, and this was a win we had to have. It keeps us in it.”
Contributing writer Lucas Shannon contributed to this report.