Hersey coach Mary Fendley has guided the Huskies into their share of championship games at the Wheaton North Christmas Tournament.
But never did they reach the final game the way they did Friday night.
Trailing Lyons Township in the semifinal by 18 points with under 6:30 remaining, the Huskies rallied for a 65-60 overtime triumph.
"This was probably the most exciting game I've been a part of," said Fendley, who is in her 16th season as the Huskies' coach. "As the No. 1 seed, I've been telling my kids all week we just want to keep playing at 7:30 each night because that means we keep winning. So I kept saying 'same time, next day.'
"I thought I might have to coin a new phrase because I didn't think we were going to be playing (at 7:30 today)."
But thanks to a remarkable comeback, the Huskies (13-1) have another 7:30 p.m. date tonight for the championship against Hinsdale Central.
When freshman Claire Gritt drove the baseline for a bucket, Hersey had it first lead of the game at 56-54 in OT.
After Lyons tied it at 56, Annie Korff gave Hersey the lead for good with a 3-point play and 2:30 left.
Both teams missed 3 free throws apiece in the next two minutes before Juliette Vainisi sank a pair for a 61-56 lead.
A layup by Lyons Vicki Swift made it 61-58 with 18.8 seconds.
Lyons got the ball back with a chance to tie but Vainisi came up with a huge steal and layup for a 63-58 lead with nine seconds left.
After Lyons missed 2 free throws with seven seconds left, Maggie Berigan made a pair of free throws with 5.8 seconds for a 65-58 lead to seal the verdict.
"It was awesome," said Hersey senior guard Morgan Harris, who fouled out in the fourth quarter but not before scoring 10 points with 4 steals. "It was just a great team effort.
"When we were on the bench, I said to Claire (Gritt) '17 points is a lot'. And she said 'anything can happen' and it did."
Gritt led Hersey with 12 points followed by Berigan (11), Kelly Weyhrich (10), Harris (10), Vainisi (9) and Korff (9) and Renee Poulos (4).
"Kelly (Weyhrich) really stepped up when I fouled out," Harris added. "Everyone did awesome."
"It was all a blur," Poulos said. "That was crazy. It's just really special and to do it with these girls is really special. I am happy to be a part of it."
Fremd 58, Huntley 34: Haley Gorecki (27 points, 4 rebounds, 3 steals), Brianna Lewis (11 points, 3 assist) and Erin Lenahan (8 points, 4 steals, 2 rebounds) were the top scorers for Fremd (11-2) at the Montini tournament.
"Coach (Dave Yates) just told me to be more focused," Lenahan said. "I was just focused on the basket, blocking out and doing all the little things. Defense is my favorite part of basketball."
The Vikings were coming off a 59-51 quarterfinal loss to Montini.
"It was nice to rebound because we were all sad the night before," Lenahan added. "But we showed up this game to play hard."
Yates stressed the solid work of reserves Lenahan, Julia Wachal and Emily Bieda.
"They gave us real nice play off the bench," he said. "They came into the game and kept things going.
"This was a good bounce back game for us. It's always interesting to see how you play your next game after a tough loss the day before. I thought we were able to take control in the first half."
Sophomore Bryana Hopkins added 7 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists for the Vikings.
Naperville Central 70, Buffalo Grove 67 (OT): The Bison hit five 3-pointer in the game, led by Courtney Meyer (5), Maddie Welter (4) and Brianna Kolbus (1) before falling in overtime at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic.
Meyer finished with 19 points and Welter added 18. Teammates Sammy Stejskal chipped in 12 points and Kim Herzog 8.
Hoffman Estates 58, Highland Park 50: Monraia Wilson (25 points, 5 assists, 6 steals, 5 rebounds) and Mary Saitta (10 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assist) led Hoffman (2-12) to victory at the Mundelein tournament.
Andrea Wolinski added 7 points for the Hawks.
Willowbrook 47, Elk Grove 45: Melissa Solorio (18 points) and Amber Lindfors (17) led Elk Grove (4-9) at the Wheaton North tourney.
St. Charles East 57, Schaumburg 49: Top scorers for the Saxons (2-11) in the Wheaton North tourney game were freshman Lauren O'Connell 12 points), Brittany Reinhart (11 points), Tatiana Doroskin (11) and Lillian Chavarria (9).
New Trier 66, Maine West 44: Brittany Collins (13 points, 11 rebounds) and Kayla Pociejewski (9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists) led the Warriors (10-4) at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic.
Leyden 54 Elmwood Park 42: Freshman Artasia Gusman scored 15 points to lead Leyden (5-5) at the St. Viator Snowflake Tournament.
Saint Viator 41, Guerin Prep 34: Junior guard Susie Moynihan tossed in 15 points to pace St. Viator (8-6) in its own Snowflake tournament.