Last-second 3-point shots, whether at the end of a quarter or the end of a game, always garner a rousing reaction from the crowd.
Shelby Pankratz’s trey from far out in the back court Friday at Rural Vista was one of those shots. The Lady Cougars got the ball and put it into Pankratz’s hands with five seconds to go. She spurted across the centerline and threw the ball up in one last desperate attempt to score. It hit the backboard and went in, and Centre fans were ecstatic.
“When I saw the time left on the clock, I shot it,” Pankratz said afterward. “I felt pretty excited that it went in.”
Her 3-pointer put Centre ahead by 4 points. However, another half remained to be played. After building an impressive 9-point lead, the team lost its momentum, missed long shots, and was just 2 points ahead at the end of the third quarter.
Except for a couple of ties, Centre kept the lead during the fourth quarter until three consecutive free throws put the Lady Heat ahead, 43-40. Pankratz had a chance to tie or win the game for Centre when she was fouled when shooting a missed 3-pointer with 3 seconds remaining. She made just one free throw, however, resulting in a 2-point loss.
Pankratz led Centre’s scoring with 15 points, followed by Kate Basore with 9. Centre’s record at the end of the week was 2-8.
After defeating Goessel 38-37 earlier in the week, the Centre boys faced a team Friday that has one of the leading winning records in Class 1A Division I.
Rural Vista’s prowess was on display as the Cougars battled their quickness and accurate shooting. The Cougars trailed by eight points after one quarter and 12 points at halftime. The Heat wore them down as the game went on, and they finished with a 59-40 loss.
Cole Srajer led scoring with 11 points, followed by Cody Svoboda with 10 and Dylan Deines with 8. The Cougars finished the week with a record of 3-7.