PRESCOTT VALLEY – The look on Cassidy Curtner’s face said it all.
She was determined not to let her Gilbert Christian basketball team lose in the Division IV championship game on Saturday (March 1).
But the scoreboard was not cooperating. Fourth-seeded Gilbert Christian was shooting cold as an iceberg and the opponent, St. David, was considerably more accurate. No. 7 St. David led by 12 points at the end of three quarters.
Curtner, a sophomore, took her team on her shoulders in the fourth quarter, scoring nine of her game-high 16 points and the Knights outscored St. David 16-2 and took home the trophy with a 32-30 victory at Tim’s Toyota Center.
Two free throws by Lauryn Satterwhite, one with 6.7 seconds left and the other with one tick remaining, put the Knights over the top.
With the score tied at 30, St. David inbounded the ball with 35.2 seconds left following a jump ball, but the ball went off a St. David player’s leg with 33.7 seconds left. Satterwhite then converted one free throw.
Another jump ball was called with 4.1 seconds left and the officials were going to award the ball to St. David before realizing that St. David had the ball on the previous possession. Gilbert Christian got the ball and Satterwhite was fouled, hitting one free throw with one second left.
Curtner, meanwhile, had done her job. She began the quarter with a basket, converted two free throws, hit a 3-pointer and then two more free throws.
“We came out slow, but knew we were a better team,’’ she said. “It’s like our T-shirts say, “One for all and all for God.’ He gave us the strength to come back.
“Once we started to come back, we knew we had a chance. We knew we needed to execute.’’
Asked if she was nervous on her free throws, she said, “Yeah, a little bit.’’
Satterwhite, a freshman who scored 25 and 26 points in the quarterfinals and semifinals, finished with seven points. Meg van Rijn scored five points and Alyssa Elias had four.
“This wasn’t scripted. We had some good fourth quarters this season,’’ said Gilbert Christian coach Daryl Young, who led the team to the state title in 2011. “Leadership and character took us through, like it has all year long.’’
St. David had good shooting early, with Chelsey Stover (12 points), Kayla Bradford, Brenna Murray and ShaeLynn Trejo all connecting on 3-pointers.
After posing for pictures with the trophy, Curtner already was thinking about a possible encore.
“I want to feel this again next year and the year after that,’’ she said.