Bella Garcia's late 3 downs the Bruins
6A GIRLS BASKETBALL
Mount Hood Conference
Just when the Barlow girls basketball team pulled even, Clackamas came up with the answer in a flash to score a 53-50 road win Tuesday night.
Overtime appeared eminent when Barlow's Melanie Hiu swiped a steal at midcourt and beat a rush of players to the basket before carefully finishing a layup to tie the score at 50 with 14.2 seconds to play.
The Cavaliers pounced on the ball as it came through the net and whipped it back in play in a hurry. Senior guard Kiah Wetzell whipped a pass across halfcourt, finding Bella Garcia at the 3-point arc at a 45-degree angle to the hoop.
She didn't hesitate.
While Barlow was still rushing to the defensive end, Garcia fired and hit the winning 3 with only a few ticks left.
"That is usually my shot, so I went for it," Garcia said. "I saw the clock was ticking down, so I just crossed my fingers."
The Bruins had two chances to force overtime, but were unable to get off a desperate heave at the hoop.
The ensuing inbounds pass went off a Bruins' leg and rolled out of bounds into the Clackamas bench with 2.8 seconds left.
The Cavaliers kept the door open with two missed free throws. Barlow's Annie Koenig chased down the long rebound into the corner, but time expired on her pass to a teammate in the middle of the floor.
The win leaves a three-way tie atop the Mount Hood with Barlow, Clackamas and Central Catholic sharing identical 8-2 league records.
The teams were rarely more than a bucket apart.
Barlow tied the game early in the third quarter when Libby Mathis pulled down a rebound and sent the ball out to Hiu for a 3-pointer.
The Cavs took a 40-35 lead into the fourth quarter after Garcia came around a screen by Maddie Tacheny and extended the ball out front for a layup in the lane.
Barlow battled back to within a point when Emily Fortin hit a transition jumper from the baseline, only to see Clackamas take its biggest lead of the night at 46-40 after Sydney Benedict hit a 3 with less than four minutes to play.
The Bruins cut the gap to a single point twice down the stretch, but Garcia cut through the lane for a layup to put Clackamas up 50-47 with 1:07 to play.
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CLACKAMAS 12 16 12 13 — 53
Clackamas (53) — Bella Garcia 13, Benedict 11, Henderson 10, Peterson 9, So 4, Tacheny 4, Wetzell 2, Schweitzer, Vancil.
Barlow (50) — Kennedie Shuler 18, Hiu 9, Mathis 8, Fortin 7, Koenig 4, Barden 4, Miller, Bradley, Quirke.
This story is scheduled for our Friday, Feb. 14, print edition.
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