Buzzer-beater has Knights provincial bound
Basketball: HTA downs Bert Church in final three seconds
Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 03:18 pm
It’s good to have a plan B.
The Holy Trinity Academy Knights earned a trip to the 3A Senior girls provincials when Claire Thorimbert hit a three-point shot with 2.5 ticks on the clock to down the Bert Church Chargers 55-54 March 15 in Olds.
“I had no idea how much time was left, so I just took the shot,” Thorimbert said. “When I shot, everything was silent, I don’t know if that was the gym or in my head. When it went in it was a complete shock because I am not a three-point shooter.”
The victory gave the Knights second place in the South Central zones tournament.
The Chargers took a 54-52 lead when Shannon Kirk nailed a jump shot with nine seconds left.
HTA called a timeout and Knights head coach Ashley Herzog called a play in which the ball would be inbounded to Abigail Hartman who would dish off to Thorimbert who would nail the three.
However, things went more sideways than Alison Redford’s travel plans when Charissa Hielema’s inbounds pass was slightly high and went off Hartman’s hand, who was parked under the basket.
The cool Hartman didn’t panic before collecting the loose ball.
“I kind of tipped it and I tried not to freak out,” Hartman said. “I got the ball and I knew I couldn’t shoot it. Cassidy (Trotter) popped out I fired her the ball.”
Trotter calmly dished the ball to Thorimbert, who drained the winner.
The Chargers were able get a shot off in the final two seconds but it was short.
Bert Church Chargers coach Ian Ferguson gave Thorimbert full credit for making the ice-in-her-veins pressure shot.
“We just broke down on the scramble for the loose ball and they got an open look on it,” Ferguson said. “She made a great shot, but I would have loved to seen a blue jersey (the Chargers colours) on her when she took it… Kudos to her in stepping up and making it.”
He said the Chargers were their own worst enemy.
“We got shots we wanted, we just weren’t able to finish,” Ferguson said. “We were down by three at the half and we had to play catch-up in the second half.”
They caught up and took the lead at 54-52 with less than 10 ticks left.
Knights coach Herzog had learned from their earlier OT loss to the Chargers in the zone semifinal. That’s why she opted to go for three rather than play it safe, get the two-point bucket, and roll the dice in OT.
“We had four girls in foul trouble — just like we did when we lost in overtime — so I wanted to go for the win,” Herzog said. “And Claire was able to pull the trigger.”
When the ball went through, bedlam erupted. However, there was two seconds left.
“I had to calm the girls down and tell them there was still two second left — and don’t foul,” Herzog said.
The Chargers’ attempt came up just short.
Hielema led the Knights in scoring with 21. Thorimbert finished with 10.
The Knights took the hard route to the silver medal game. After opening the tournament with a convincing win over the Bow Valley Bobcats March 12, they then dropped a 68-63 decision to Bert Church in the semifinal March 13. As a result, the Knights had to win three games in a row to win the silver. They beat the Highwood Mustangs 52-44 Friday and then downed Bow Valley Bobcats 54-43 Saturday morning to set up the showdown with Bert Church in the second-place game.
“We treated every game as it was going to be our last — which it would have been had we lost,” Herzog said.
The South Central championship was won by the Strathmore Spartans, who beat Bert Church in the final Friday night.
The Knights will now travel to the Border City, Lloydminster, for the 3A girls provincials March 20-22. HTA’s last trip to provincials was two years ago.
For more information go to www.asaa.ca