Click’s trey breaks Heritage hearts again
By Marcus Fitzsimmons | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
She could have at least called “bank” on it.
In a game that wasn’t supposed to mean all that much, William Blount found redemption, Heritage followed one heartbreaker with another and Amber Click never even saw the shot that made the Lady Gov sophomore the hero of a 50-49 win in the District 4-AAA consolation contest Monday night.
Down by one with 11 seconds remaining, the fourth-seeded Lady Govs fouled Leah Thomas in the backcourt to put the Heritage sophomore on the foul line. Thomas hit the first for the last of her game-high 22 points but the second rattled out. WB went the other way with the rebound, set Click at the top of the key and the sophomore knocked in the game-winner with a kiss-off-the-glass 3-pointer for the win as the horn sounded.
“I didn’t think it was going to bank,” Click admitted after a series of fierce hugs and high-fives. “I didn’t really have time to think about it. The play was called and I saw Lindsey (Roddy) coming down with the ball and I was just thinking to get back and set the pick for Sam (Henry). Then Ami (Hartline) sets a great pick to get me open and I heard someone yell, ‘shoot it’ and I saw everyone jump up and I just guessed it had gone in.”
The shot capped a 12-point WB rally, put William Blount into the Region 2-AAA tournament as a No. 3 seed and provided a bit of redemption for the Lady Govs, who led in the second half against top-seeded Farragut Friday before falling the semifinals.
“We drew it up for Amber to take both figuring we’d need a 3 and another at the end and they were running the play,” WB coach Todd Wright told The Daily Times about setting the sophomore up for her back-to-back 3-pointers in the final 15 seconds. “No matter what, they were running it. When Lindsey Roddy got the rebound I really wanted to yell at her to just take it to the rim and tie it up, but they were already running the play. It wasn’t the prettiest shot in the world, but hey it looked great to us.”
The Lady Mountaineers struggled in the fourth offensively. Kassi Knight’s jumper from the foul line was the last of the sophomore post’s 14 and No. 6 Heritage managed just one field goal — a driving jumper in the lane from Thomas — after William Blount drew an offensive foul with 5:48 to play. The move to plug the lane put No. 6 seed Heritage out of kilter.
“The game was probably the best officiated game we’ve had all year. I’m really happy with that. When you have a good officiating crew like that it’s fun to coach in a game like this,” Heritage coach Rick Howard said. “You have to execute down the stretch and we didn’t do that very well. A few turnovers, missed free throws and a bad shot and then they make a great shot. She makes a banker, there just isn’t much you can say about it or be upset about.”
Heritage, which led No. 2 Bearden until the final 28 seconds in Friday’s semifinal when an Erin Walsh basket frustrated 31 outstanding minutes by the Lady Mountaineers, weathered WB’s initial third quarter storm and expanded a 30-21 halftime lead to a dozen. Knight posted up on the right block for a bucket and Bethany Massey iced two free throws for a 42-30 lead with 1:45 left in the third. WB responded with Kristin McGill’s runner and Henry’s trey from the top of the key to end the third.
“Oh my, that’s all I can say,” Wright said. “If you’re going to play in a consolation game it doesn’t get any better than playing a rival like Heritage. You don’t have to worry about the team’s motivation. When it’s Heritage William Blount, we could be playing a game of checkers and these kids would battle. Both teams did. Heritage is a good basketball team and they outplayed us a a lot of the game. We just made plays down the stretch.”
Thomas put up 8 in the second quarter as Heritage began to pull away in a game that switched the battleground from the paint to the perimeter. Click tried to meet the challenge, scoring 7 in reply as the pair of No. 13s faced off for the third time this season. Shelby Spradlin finished with 10 for WB after working against Knight most of the night and Roddy kicked in 11. Massey finished with 6 for Heritage, which will travel to the District 3-AAA No. 1 seed in the first round of regionals.
“The girls played hard, I’m proud of them,” Howard said. “It’s a matter now of if we have enough left to keep fighting and go over there and get a region win.”
The District 3-AAA championship game pits Powell against Anderson County tonight.
District 4-AAA Tournament
No. 4 William Blount 50, No. 6 Heritage 49
Her 15 15 12 7 — 49
WB 10 11 14 15 — 50
HERITAGE— Jordan Johnson 3, Leah Thomas 22, Bethany Massey 6, Kassi Knight 14, Lindsey Taylor 2, Katie Wolfe 2.
WILLIAM BLOUNT— Lindsey Roddy 11, Amber Click 14, Samantha Henry 5, Bailey Ritter 3, Shelly Spradlin 10, Kristin McGill 6, Ami Hartline 1.
3-POINTERS— Her 2 (Thomas, Knight); WB 4 (Click 2, Henry, Ritter).
NEXT— Both teams advance to the Region 2-AAA tournament, playing at the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds from District 3-AAA.