Two minutes left in overtime, and Hamilton was down by five.
The Huskies needed a momentum shift. That’s when Aliyah Dickson took a rebound coast- to-coast. Then, Ashlee Moore followed that with a lunging layup which turned into a 3-point play to tie the game.
With that, the Huskies controlled the rest of the clock and held on for a 66-61 double overtime win against No. 12 Marana Mountain View in the second round of the Div. I girl’s basketball playoffs.
The Huskies move on to face No. 4 Avondale Westview in the Div. I quarterfinals on Monday at 2:30 p.m. at Arizona State.
“I think that’s the thing, is you’ve gotta be prepared because you don’t know,” said coach Jeff Kain. “Here’s the No. 12 seed that we beat last week by almost 30 (points). It’s state playoff time, if you don’t come ready to play, you’re going home.”
The Huskies had two chances to win the game on a last second-shot, the second one by an open Moore on the post.
“That first shot, I remember thinking that if I make this shot, then I can make it for my team, and we can focus on the next game and we won’t have as many worries,” she said. “But then it missed, and I could have gotten down but my team picked me up and told me to keep my head up, and you’re fine.”
After that, Moore, who led the team with 19 points, posted four of the team’s eight points in the second overtime. Dickson posted 18 on the night to help the Huskies and Kyndall Adams scored 14.
In the final quarter and the two overtimes, the Huskies went 13-for-19 from the charity stripe.
“Free throws win games,” Moore said. “It definitely comes down to free throws in close games.”
After starting the game down 9-4, the Huskies (26-5) were able to take advantage of seven steals and nine turnovers by the Mountain Lions (22-7) in the first half to build a 30-18 at the break.
However, the Mountain Lions’ trap defense helped them start the second half with a 10-0 run, and they took their first lead of the second half in the first overtime through aggressive trap defense.
“Going in I didn’t really expect it to be as physical as it was, but you play on, and any team during playoffs," Moore said. "Everyone’s coming out for everybody because it’s a whole new season for everyone, so you just have to prove what you and your team can do.”
The most frequent benefactor of the drive-and-dish offense that Mountain View used was Jessica Salaz, who led the game with 23 points.
Despite the early struggles, the Huskies were able to win the rebounding battle, tallying 11 offensive rebounds in the first half alone.
“If you’re not playing quick defense and you’re not rebounding, you’re letting teams hang around, I think that was it early,” Cain said. “We weren’t playing aggressive or we were over-amped or thinking that we didn’t have to rebound, but we gave up a lot of easy ones early.”
Hamilton 66, Mountain View (Marana) 61 (2OT)
Mountain View 11 7 18 12 8 5 - 61
Hamilton 9 21 8 10 8 10 - 66
Mountain View: Poreda 2, Salaz 23, Karlik 2, McLaughlin 12, Red 4, Kelly 2, Reece 16
Hamilton: Whitmore 2, Hogberg 6, Moore 19, Adams 14, Filiere 5, Dickson 18, Edmonds 2