MOUNT PLEASANT — A pair of No. 1-ranked teams had a classic down-to-the wire match-up that came down to the last shot.
Carson City-Crystal, ranked No. 1 in Class C in the first Associated Press poll posted this season, outlasted Class D No. 1-ranked Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart 38-37.
The Eagles needed a buzzer-beater to seal the victory.
CC-Crystal senior Mikayla Duflo hit a difficult three-pointer at the buzzer to win the game against the Irish Friday night.
“If you coach long enough, those go for you and they go against you,” CC-Crystal coach Larry Farmer said. “I thought, with all that the girls been through this week, for that to happen, it’s like someone was watching over us tonight.”
Farmer was referring to the death of CC-C student Bailey Lance, who died Thursday of injuries suffered in a car accident.
The end of the game didn’t come until Duflo forced up a three-pointer with the clock running down.
“I felt confident I was going to make it,” Duflo said of that last shot. “I felt like I had to do it. I had confidence in myself that I was going to make it.”
When the shot went up in the air, Farmer had confidence it would tickle the inside of the net.
“I’ve seen her (Duflo) make those a lot of times the last four years,” Farmer said.
The game-winning shot came after Sacred Heart junior Avery Gamble hit a short jumper from the free-throw line with 14 seconds left in the fourth quarter to break a 35-35 tie.
The Irish (6-1, 0-1) led 9-6 after the first quarter, breaking a 6-6 tie with a Megan English three-pointer, the only three the Irish would hit.
“I thought it took them (CC-Crystal) a minute to settle down,” Farmer said.
But the Eagles (7-0, 1-0) started hitting threes in the second quarter. In fact, all they hit was threes, including three triples from Sara McAlvey, which built a 21-17 lead for the Eagles going into halftime.
“We’re a good three-point shooting team,” Farmer said. “Sometimes you live by the three and you die by the three. We were able to pull it out (Friday night).”
CC-Crystal expanded its lead in the third quarter by two points, making the score 32-28 going into the fourth quarter.
That led to Duflo’s game-winner.
She took an inbounds pass from Regan Heckman, tried to shake three defenders and ended up shooting over all three of them. The ball went through the basket as the buzzer sounded.
“If feels great to win like that,” Duflo said.
Duflo finished with 17 points. Only four Eagles scored. Madi Weese added nine points.
All Sacred Heart players were held to single-digit points, individually. Gamble and Lexi Methner led the Irish with seven.
The Eagles will get right back into a tough game Tuesday when they face former Class C state champion Morley Stanwood.
CC-CRYSTAL 38, MP SACRED HEART 37
CC-Crystal 6 15 11 6 – 38
Sacred Heart 9 8 9 11 – 37
CC-CRYSTAL (8-0, 1-0) – Heckman 2 0-0 5, Duflo 7 0-0 17, McAlvey 3 0-0 9, Weese 3 1-2 7. Totals: 15 1-2 38. Three-point goals: Heckman, Duflo 3, McAlvey 3. Total fouls: 10. Fouled out: none.
SACRED HEART (6-1, 0-1) – Terwilliger 2 0-0 4, Gamble 3 1-4 7, Nelson 2 0-0 4, Predum 1 1-3 3, Ruggles 2 1-1 5, English 2 0-0 5, Scully 1 0-0 2, Methner 3 1-2 7. Totals: 16 4-10 37. Three-point goals: English. Total fouls: 10. Fouled out: none.