York survives Fremd's last-second half-court heave
The final 10 seconds of the third-place game at the York tournament on Friday night had enough drama to match a soap opera.
First, it was sophomore guard Stella Kohl hitting two free throws to give the host Dukes a 48-44 lead over Fremd with 9.4 seconds left.
The Vikings hustled back down the floor and got within 1 point with one second left when senior JilI Sheehan hit a 3-pointer.
After a timeout, Sheehan barely missed becoming the hero as she intercepted the inbounds pass at half court and quickly fired up a 50-foot shot that just missed, hitting the back of the rim and caroming off to the side to seal the suspense-filled 48-47 win for York.
"We needed both of those free throws (by Kohl)," said fifth-year York coach Brandon Collings, who led York to its first championship in its own tourney in 2019. "This is going to be a breakthrough year for Stella. I've been so impressed with her. She does a great job. By stepping up and knocking down those 2 free throws just shows the player she is going to be for us.
"She sparked us in a lot of ways. She is a great defender and our best rebounder. She does a great job on both ends of the floor."
"When I was on the line, I was freaking out a little," said Kohl, who came off the bench last spring as a freshman. "I knew I just had to keep my calm and use the same form I've always been working on for however long."
Kohl finished with 11 points, second only to team-leader Hannah Meyers (15 points, three 3-pointers), also a sophomore guard.
Senior Erin Powers added 8 and all-tourney pick Mariann Blass (junior) added 7.
"This is a great win for us," Collings said. "We are so young you could tell our inexperience at the end. We got a little flustered but we were able to chase around and come out with a win that is only going to make us better."
It was Fremd doing the chasing prior to Kohl's big free throws. The Vikes needed to foul five straight times to get the Dukes into the bonus. Finally, Kohl was the Vikes' seventh foul in the half.
The Vikings (2-2) rallied after being down by 15 points with 2:41 left in the third quarter.
All-tourney selection Maddy Fay led Fremd (2-2) with 15 points, followed by Ella Todd (11), Nikki Gonnella (7) and Sheehan (6), with her two 3-pointers.
"It stinks that it didn't go in," Sheehan said of her last shot. "But I'm really proud of my team for scraping to the end. Maddy had a lot of huge layups and I think the fact that we got back into the game was huge. I'm excited for what's to come after what we showed tonight. I think we have a lot of potential so I am excited for the season to continue and show what we've got."
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Kohl and Meyers gave the Dukes a 12-4 lead late in the second quarter.
The Dukes (3-1) extended the advantage to 20-9 with 4:42 left in the half with a 3-pointer from Meyers. They took their biggest lead of the half at 24-11 when Blass tossed home a 17-footer with 3:15 left.
Fremd used a 7-0 run to get back within 24-18 with 1:45 remaining as Fay scored on a putback followed by Sheehan's 3-pointer and a bucket from Todd.
Powers' 3-pointer with 12 seconds left made it 28-20 at intermission.
It was Meyers' driving layup off an assist from Kohl that gave York its 40-25 lead in the third quarter before coach Dave Yates' Vikings began chipping away.
"I thought our kids fought to the end," said Yates, who directed the Vikings to the 2020 Class 4A state crown. "We gave ourselves a chance after being down. To fight back our way back was a good sign for this group. We gave ourselves a chance at the end to try and pull off a crazy finish.
"We've just played four games in five days. It's early in the season and we've got a lot of things to work on. Now we get three days of practice to fix some stuff."