“Come on! She’s made every free throw tonight, ref! Just give us this one!” Olathe East Coach Clint Evans shouts as his team is penalized for a line violation. SM East Senior Shannon McGinley gets the ball at the free throw line, takes a deep breath, and shoots, sinking yet another free throw as the Olathe East Coach puts his head in his hands.
Shannon and fellow seniors Caroline Dodd and Caroline Nick led their team to a 47-44 victory over the Olathe East Lady Hawks Tuesday night. Both teams fought hard as the Hawks closed the game to within three points in the final seconds. The Olathe East squad made a high percentage of shots from behind the three point line while the Lady Lancers earned their points with quick passes and fast breaks down the court.
While the Hawks had momentum early on thanks to height in the paint, Coach Stein was able to move his girls to a 3-2 zone defense to take control of the middle and force Olathe East to shoot the harder outside shots. Olathe East was able to hinder the drives made by McGinley and Nick by crowding the center.
As the game neared its final minutes, the Hawks trailed by eight. To keep time on the clock, Coach Evans told his girls to foul the Lancer squad whenever possible. This took the Lancers to the line every time but gave the Hawks the opportunity to regain points and come within a single shot of victory.
Unfortunately for the Hawks, the Lancers had a high percentage of free throws that went in, allowing them to maintain their lead as the seconds ticked down to zero.