Ogden • The long 3 from Desert Hills guard Alyssa Tomlinson banked in as the buzzer blared. The red neon light on the backboard framed the shot. It was unclear if Tomlinson had gotten it off in time.
Seconds earlier, Dixie’s Kelsey McCann had hit a 3 from the wing with 3.7 seconds left in the game to give the Flyers a one-point lead.
Dixie 33, Desert Hills 32Kelsey McCann’s 3 with 3.7 seconds left becomes the game-winner after a 3-pointer at the buzzer by Desert Hill’s Alyssa Tomlinson is waved off.
Both benches rushed onto the court, each believing it had won the Class 3A girls’ basketball state championship Saturday. For a few seconds, which passed with a slow thickness, they remained, two teams celebrating stunning victories.
But the official called off Tomlinson’s 3. With that, a wave of a referee’s arms, Desert Hills’ euphoria turned to heartbreak. Warriors players dropped to their knees, most battling tears, many of them losing the fight.
Yards away, the Flyers’ elation had been confirmed. They dogpiled on the corner of the court.
The Flyers had overcome a late Desert Hills lead after blowing one of their own, and they’d withstood a would-be miracle shot. With a 33-32 win Saturday evening, they were state champions.
"I thought time had ran out, but that was an amazing shot," McCann said about the game’s final play. "I didn’t even see it go in, to be honest. So after they started cheering, I was nervous for a second, but I saw the ref call it off."
Dixie players struggled to put the win in perspective after cutting down the net. It was the overwhelming emotion of winning a championship, yes, but it also was the manner in which the game had ended, the wild finish making the reality even harder to grasp.
"Oh my gosh," Dixie guard Elizabeth Thompson said, pausing to use the neck of her blue jersey to wipe away tears. "What’s it like? It’s like everything I’ve ever worked for. Basketball is my life."
For the Flyers to even be in position to potentially lose on a buzzer-beater took the shot of McCann’s life. Trailing by two with 10 seconds left, the Flyers came out of a timeout with one chance to tie or take the lead.
After the inbound, McCann found herself open on the wing. She rose and fired, hitting nothing but the bottom of the net, providing stunning heroics to cap the season and her career.
"Originally, I was planning on taking it to the hoop and trying to get a 2," McCann said. "But I saw I was open, and I decided to shoot it. I was lucky enough that it went in."
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