TACOMA — Maya DuChesne had no doubt.
With the clock winding down and the score tied, the Snohomish High School senior turned and let fly, and from the moment the ball left her hand she knew it would hit nothing but net.
DuChesne drilled a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds remaining, capping off an incredible comeback as the Snohomish Panthers defeated the Seattle Prep Panthers 42-39 Wednesday morning in the first round of the 3A state girls Hardwood Classic at the Tacoma Dome.
“To be honest, yeah I (knew it was in),” DuChesne said of the game winner. “I felt it, it’s a weird feeling.”
DuChesne’s shot completed a remarkable turnaround. Snohomish overcame dreadful first-half shooting — 2-for-16 from the floor, 4-for-11 from the free-throw line — as well as an eight-point deficit with less than three minutes remaining. Snohomish scored 13 points in the final three minutes.
DuChesne finished with a game-high 18 points, and Courtney Perry added nine points and 10 rebounds for 11th-seeded Snohomish (17-7), which advanced to face No. 4 Kamiakin in the state quarterfinals at 9 a.m. Thursday at the Tacoma Dome.
Seattle Prep (19-6), the No. 6 seed, was led by Molly Moffit’s 11 points and 14 boards. Bea Franklin also scored 11 points for Seattle Prep, which saw its season come to an end.
Snohomish seemed in trouble when Seattle Prep, following a timeout with 3:25 remaining, twice grabbed offensive rebounds to keep the possession alive, and Franklin finally cashed in by scoring a driving layup and completing a three-point play to make it 37-29.
But from there Snohomish turned up the defensive pressure. Steals by Ella Gallatin and DuChesne in the final minute resulted in layups by Kayla Soderstrom and Gallatin, knotting the score 39-39. Seattle Prep then had a chance to take the last shot, but Snohomish forced Franklin into a traveling violation with 10.7 seconds remaining.
“We made every play at the end of the game that had to be made, both offensively and defensively,” Snohomish coach Ken Roberts said. “I thought when we gave up the two rebounds and a three-point play that might have done it, but our kids just came down and scored almost every single possession at the end of the game and just kept playing. It was fun.”
That set the stage for DuChesne’s game-winner.
“It wouldn’t have happened if our younger girls didn’t get those steals and lay-ins,” said DuChesne, who said it was her first ever winning shot at the buzzer. “Then the last shot, we didn’t have a timeout. My coach just gave me an opening to do whatever. I thought I was going to be able to drive, but I wasn’t, so I found my second choice, which was Courtney. I thought Courtney was going to put it up, but she gave it back to me and I shot.”
Defense is what kept Snohomish in the game when it was struggling offensively. Snohomish finished with 16 steals, five by Gallatin, four by DuChesne and three apiece by Perry and Kinslee Gallatin.
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