Long comes through for Grizzlies
They watched a 10-point, comfortable lead evaporate into a tightly contested nail biter, but in the end the McMinnville Grizzlies came away with a 46-45 win Friday vs. Century after junior Nicole Long calmly made one free throw with 0.5 seconds left on the game clock to put Mac on top.
Long scored five points in the game, but none were bigger than her last after she was fouled on a layup attempt right before the buzzer. The point capped a wild final two minutes that saw the Jaguars tie the game on a layup with 1:43 left to play in the game, and then possession change four times.
Mac had the ball with 1:20 to play but Long's pass bounced off the foot of a Century defender, and the Jaguars recovered the apparent kickball and raced down court. The Jaguars turned the ball over with 21.5 seconds to play after passing into the backcourt. With 12.5 seconds left, the Grizzlies tried to execute one final play to get a shot. Instead, players couldn't find a wide-open Audrey McMillan next to the basket, and instead McMillan was called for the three-seconds in the key with 3.7 left to play.
On the subsequent inbounds, Century's Emily Ellis threw her pass to high, and Long snagged it at the 3-point line and raced to the hoop. She tried a layup but missed, though the referee did call a foul as time expired. They put 0.5 seconds back on the clock, and Long calmly made the first shot. She purposely missed the second (an air ball), and after a Century inbound didn't get out of the backcourt, the clock had run out and the Grizzlies had won.
McMinnville led 12-8 after the first quarter and 26-18 at halftime. The Jaguars came back in the third quarter and led 37-35 at the start of the fourth quarter but neve led by more than two points.
Grace McMillan scored 13 points for the Grizzlies. Emily Bliven, playing with a broken nose, scored eight points, and Audrey McMillan scored seven. Taylor Petersen added five points, Bethany Mohler scored four points, Kerigan Morton had two points, and Molly Olsen scored one.
The Grizzlies play at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Tigard.