Carmel senior Kathleen Felicelli deserved a free automobile for her play.
But where were the witnesses?
Her coach, Kelly Perz, wasn't watching.
Neither was assistant Roger Lass.
Let's go with 71 feet. That's the estimated length of the shot Felicelli fired up at the last second before halftime in Saturday's Blue Devil Classic game against Palatine in Gurnee.
No, it didn't swish through the basket but rather banked in for a super-long-distance 3-pointer.
But wait -- another oddity was produced by Felicelli. As the third quarter closed, Felicelli made a free throw.
"They were inbounding the ball,'' Felicelli explained. "And they didn't see me. I made the shot and they fouled me."
Felicelli led all scorers with 21 points. Seven of those points closed the second and third quarters. Her big day helped Carmel (12-2) stop Palatine 56-35.
Now, more on her car-worthy play.
"There were 1.8 seconds left,'' she said. "I took one dribble and chucked it up. It was pretty exciting. It was luck. Both my coaches missed it."
Where were her coaches on this incredible 3-pointer? Preparing to leave the court for the halftime speeches.
"Actually, we have it on film,'' Perz said. "It was awesome. She has that ability to change a game. She played great."
Even with Felicelli's heroics, the game remained close heading into the second quarter. The Pirates (5-10) had erased most of a 13-5 Carmel lead when Morgan Radtke's layup made it 13-10.
But the second quarter spelled doom for Palatine. Carmel won it 17-5.
"Eighteen turnovers,'' noted Palatine coach Mark Johnson. "We struggled with Carmel's pressure and they capitalized on our mistakes."
Carmel coach Kelly Perz was pleased to see her club turn up the heat on defense.
"We decided to go back to basics,'' Perz said. "Our halfcourt defense and our team defense approach kept them out of their range."
There was some good news on the Pirates side, much of coming from senior Samantha Heuertz. She opened the second half with a 3-point play and had all of her 9 points in the third quarter.
"Samantha looks to score,'' Johnson said. "She does a good job."
Johnson still believes his Pirates will turn around their season. Palatine
has 1 win and 3 losses in this tournament.
"They work hard,'' Johnson said. "I'm proud of them. They listen."
Morgan Gallagher, Kirsten Allen and Erin Mayer all scored 6 points for Palatine.
"Erin is all of 5-foot-9 and we ask her to be our center,'' Johnson said.
Carmel's 12th win of the season came with the help of Cassidy Kloss (9 points), Leah Lach (8 points) and senior guard Alexa Svoboda (6 points), who showed off some power moves around the basket.
"Alexa provides a spark off the bench,'' Perz said. "She understands her role really well."
Felicelli was glad to see her team share the ball.
"We really played together well,'' she said. "We played a lot better as a team today."
Carmel has won three of four games in tournament and will wrap up with a 5:30 p.m. Saturday game against Grayslake Central.
Palatine's final tourney game is at 4 p.m. against Warren.