EVERETT — It’s only fitting a game as good as the one played between the Glacier Peak and Everett girls came down to one shot.
Glacier Peak senior guard Sarah Smith made what was certainly the biggest shot of the game — if not her whole life — knocking down a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired to give the Grizzlies a 72-71 overtime Wesco 3A victory over the Seagulls.
“I didn’t really think, to be honest,” Smith said. “I kind of just knew that there had to be a shot that goes up and I knew a three would win it. I was kind of over going to overtime, so I just kind of shot it.”
When the shot hit nothing but net, Smith seemed surprised and her teammates quickly mobbed her in celebration.
“I didn’t think it was going to go in and then it did,” Smith said. “I saw it go and I was just like, ‘please, please.’ And then it went in and I just kind of stood there for a second and was shocked.”
Smith’s shot was without question the most important given the fact that it won the game, but was just one of many that appeared to swing momentum for one team or the other.
Seven seconds previous to Smith’s game-winner, Everett’s Sidney Rielly had made a pull-up jumper from just inside the 3-point line that looked like it might give Everett the victory.
“I like our chances there,” Everett head coach John Low said. “I’d rather have the lead and need to play defense instead of coming down needing to score. Basketball is funny that way. That’s just the way the ball bounces sometimes.
As soon as Rielly shot went through, Glacier Peak head coach Brian Hill called a timeout to set up a play. Given the fact the Grizzlies had just seven seconds and had to go the length of the court, things looked bleak.
“In our timeout we said we’ve only got (seven) seconds left, we’ve just got to get it down (the court),” Hill said. “We put another shooter in. We had Natalie (Rasmussen) in and we had Sawyer (Manning), who’s been hitting a lot threes and we had Sarah, who doesn’t look for her shot very often, but is very capable of hitting some buckets.”
Rasmussen took the inbounds pass and quickly weaved through the Everett defense, before tripping off her feet on the left side of the court just inside the 3-point line. Rasmussen had the presence of mind to find Smith, who never hesitated and let it fly for the win.
“The ball is in the air and it goes through and I was like, ‘I can’t believe that happened,’” Hill said. “It was a lot of fun.”
Everett extended to a seven-point lead in the first quarter at 15-8, but the Grizzlies closed on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 15 entering the second stanza. Neither team led by more than five the rest of the way and for the most part traded baskets for three quarters.
The Seagulls had a five point lead when Taylor Baird trimmed the deficit to three at 62-59 scoring in the key with 48.6 seconds to play in regulation.
With 32.8 seconds to play Glacier Peak stole an Everett inbounds pass and called a timeout with 32.8 seconds remaining in the fourth.
Hill set up a play for Manning, who had hit three 3-pointers in first half. She came off a screen, caught the ball at the top of key and knocked down her fourth of the night to tie the game at 62, which is the way regulation would end.
“That was a designed play to get her open on the top,” Hill said. “It was a little deeper than we wanted, but she made it so that was good.”
Manning finished with 14 points including four 3-pointers.
“It might be the best game I’ve ever seen Sawyer play,” Hill said. “I know she’s capable of putting in a lot of buckets and she is one of our main threats from outside.
“Sawyer pulled up and had a great game for us tonight.”
The first overtime session remained scoreless for nearly two minutes before Glacier Peak’s Sadie Mensing gave Glacier Peak a 64-62 lead. Sydney Taggart answered right back with a jump shot to tie. Sidney Rielly made two free throws to give Everett a two-point lead again and Baird answered to tie it at 66.
Then things got really interesting.
Caroline Overstreet, who hadn’t scored all night, hit a three to give Everett a three point advantage. With 28 seconds left Rasmussen tied it at 69 with a three of her own. That set the stage for the Rielly’s go-ahead jumper and Smith’s game-winner.
Rielly finished with a game-high 33 points.
“She’s definitely probably the best scorer that I’ve seen and is right up there with any of the guy scorers that I’ve coached or seen in my 20 years of coaching.”
Baird led Glacier Peak with 18 and Mensing chipped in 16.
Rielly, Baird and Mensing are all established scorers for their teams, but what made the game most exciting was all of its unlikely heroes.
“It might be the best girls game I’ve ever seen or coached,” Hill said. It was…what a battle – both teams. The defenses I thought were pretty good on both sides, but offenses were better.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Everett Community College
Glacier Peak–Taylor Baird 18, Sadie Mensing 16, Natalie Rasmussen 8, Kaela Collins 0, Sarah Smith 5, Sawyer Manning 14, Kianna Garner 5, Samantha Fatkin 0, Paisley Johnson 0, Nicole Fausey 6. Everett–Caroline Overstreet 3, Sydney Taggart 10, Darian Rielly 10, Sidney Rielly 32, Julie Ramirez 2, Amber Hagar 4, Katy Hedington 10. 3-point goals–Rasmussen 1, Manning 4, Garner 1, Mensing 1, S. Rielly 1, D. Rielly 2. Records–Glacier Peak 7-2 league, 14-2 overall. Everett 5-4, 9-7.