If you were an unbiased fan, watching the Bears and Hawks battle it out for a top four finish and the rights to see their name on the state bracket was pretty entertaining.
However, for fans of Mill Creek High School, it would be the last time they’d see their team play until next season. With 0.9 seconds left to play in regulation, the Lady Hawks would have to pull off the unimaginable for a win. As Madison Phillips took the final shot which could have resulted in a buzzer-beater thriller, the ball hit the rim and the celebration began for Mountain View High School as the Hawks fell 52-51.
This was the second game for the two teams in the same week as they closed out their regular season in a 45-40 overtime loss for Mill Creek. This time around, no overtime was needed.
The Bears won the tipoff but didn’t get a chance to convert on its opening possession as Shannon McCrosson, who has been a thief all season, stole the ball and the Hawks notched their first shot of the game courtesy of Meredith Schulte. Senior Nadiya Miller drilled a shot from behind the arc and Kathleen Haxton made her presence felt with an open 2-pointer.
Mountain View hung around with a 10-7 deficit. Schulte added two more to her stat sheet. Miller notched three 3-pointers in the first quarter alone to seal a 15-9 lead for the Hawks. Mountain View pulled within two at the charity stripe.
Shortly after, the Bears climbed back into the action with two consecutive shots and steals to take an 18-15 lead. Miller responded by tying the game up at the free-throw line. Phillips hit a 3-pointer to tie the game yet again but MVHS regained the lead.
Down by five with less than two to play until the break, Phillips made an impressive floater to pull the Hawks within three. Paige Orangio got an open look for a 2-pointer to trim the Hawks’ deficit to one. Schulte tied the game at 27-all and that score remained the same going into halftime.
The Hawks defense pressured the Bears right out of the break but MVHS returned the favor and got a 2-point gain. Malayshia George evened the battle at 30 apiece. Mill Creek took a 5-point lead but led by three at the top of the fourth.
Mountain View went back on top by one with less than seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter. McCrosson made a tough bucket to pull within one while Miller continued to stay hot behind the arc to tie the game at 40 each. Haxton regained the lead for the Hawks with a 3-pointer. The battle for the lead continued to go back-and-forth between the two until MVHS sealed a one point lead with just seconds left.
In the Lady Hawks’ nine seasons, this is just the second losing season. The Hawks have been a powerhouse, making two trips to the Final 4 and three to the Elite 8.
Things were almost identical on the boys’ side as the Hawks were in a win-or-go home situation. Collins Hill High School forced turnovers all night long but Mill Creek stayed close by for the majority of the matchup. However, the Eagles pulled ahead by four and the Hawks needed more than just a few seconds to tie the game. Collins Hill went on to win 52-48.