BAKER CITY, Ore. – Hosanna Christian sophomore Bethany Moro received an inbound pass from her sister, Pamela, and with a St. Paul defender on her side, shot a three-pointer from her hip, off the backboard and through the basket to tie the game 40-40 and force overtime in the OSAA 1A Girls Basketball State Championship third place game.
While St. Paul won 48-46 on its own buzzer beater by Natalie Stone, the Hosanna Christian Lady Lions didn’t show signs of heartbreak after earning an opportunity to win the game in OT.
Senior Carly Bigby was just as big in the game, making back-to-back three-pointers before Bethany Moro’s game-tying shot. Bigby finished all three games of the tournament with a team-high in points, finishing her last ever game at Hosanna with 14 points and seven rebounds before fouling out with 12 seconds left in regulation.
In overtime, Hosanna built a 44-40 lead and kept St. Paul scoreless until Stone hit a jump shot with 1:50 remaining in the four-minute period. From there, Hosanna’s Dani Lynn Sundet scored once followed by Sarah McKay of St. Paul getting two baskets to tie the game at 46-46 with 1:09 remaining. McKay was fouled by Hosanna senior Elana Hampton, her fifth, after making her second basket, but missed the free throw.
After Pamela Moro lost control of the basketball with 24 seconds remaining, Stone dribbled toward the right baseline and made a 12-foot jump shot to win the game at the OT buzzer.
No. 3 St. Paul finished the season 24-6 and No. 6 Hosanna Christian ended the year 22-6.
The game featured the last two state runner-ups. Hosanna Christian was defeated by Nixyaawii 75-50 in the 2011 state championship game and St. Paul lost 44-33 to McKenzie in last year’s tournament.
Hosanna Christian Boys Finish With An All-Time Best Third Place Trophy
While a far less dramatic game than their female counterparts, the Hosanna Christian boys basketball team’s 58-49 win over Elkton in the OSAA 1A Boys Basketball State Championships third place game wasn’t a runaway.
Hosanna Christian was leading 42-28 entering the final period and scored the first two points of the fourth quarter before Elkton mounted an 11-2 run to get back within seven points.
But Mikey Janecke’s basket followed by Oliver Herting’s back-to-back scores helped Hosanna all but erase the ground Elkton gained back. Seniors Ryan Lockwood, Garrett Martin and Janecke scored the Lions’ final six points, all from the free-throw line, to help the team to their best-ever finish at a state basketball tournament.
Hosanna Christian, which came into the tournament as the state’s fifth-ranked team, finished the season 24-4. As the lowest-seed in either the boys’ or girls’ bracket, entering at No. 17, Elkton finished the season 20-9.