The long and tall Whitesboro junior Casey Monk, needing only two points to win the game with five seconds remaining, took a big risk and shot a long 3-point shot over the outstretched arms of the equally long-stature of sophomore Ally Harvey. As the rainbow left, it had precisely a 28.21 percent chance of being the game-winner due to that being Monk’s 3-point percentage on the year. As the ball went through the air, seemingly in slow motion, one could almost see the percentages going up and up an up just as a bowler spins the ball that you immediately know that it will spin towards the middle pin. As the ball completely missed the rim and entered only the net, it gave Whitesboro a 45-43 lead and took away the opportunity for Howe to claim stake to their sixth consecutive bi-district crown.
Howe had their opportunities and looked to be in command as junior Calley Vick was fouled on Whitesboro’s seventh team foul which gave Vick a one-and-one opportunity. She hit the first shot that gave Howe a 43-39 lead with 45.6 seconds remaining. Vick’s second shot rimmed out which gave Whitesboro the ball in the hands of their point guard Karlee Schuessler who drilled a 3-pointer with 30 seconds remaining to cut the Howe lead to one point. With 22 seconds left in the game, senior leading scorer Peyton Streetman was fouled. Howe’s most accomplished free-throw shooter missed the front-end of the one-and-one and that set up the game-winner by Monk.
Whitesboro Head Coach James Garner’s game plan was to try and take Streetman out of the game. That plan was mostly successful early in the game as the pig-tailed princess only scored four points (all free-throws) in the first quarter and the Lady Cats shut her out in the second quarter. The Lady Bulldogs were unable to make up for the offensive production and struggled to pull away at any point in the game.
What Whitesboro did to Howe at the end of the game is what Howe did to Whitesboro at the end of the first half. With 3:28 left to go in the second period, the Lady Cats led 17-9 and appeared to be stretching away from Howe. But sophomore Cassidy Anderson made a slick pass to Harvey for a two-foot jumper that put Howe within six. Streetman then pulled off a quick pass in the lane to Harvey who hit another short jumper to bring Howe within four at 17-13 with 2:18 left before the half. Streetman then hit two big free throws to bring Howe within two at the thirty-second mark. Sophomore Jenna Honore made a tremendous steal on the right side of the court and took it coast to coast for the layup to tie the game at 17 leaving only 10 seconds remaining on the first half clock.
Howe appeared to come out of the half in full command, but Whitesboro got hot and hit three consecutive 3-pointers to finish out the third period with a 31-28 lead over Howe.
The first points of the fourth period was an NBA style 3-pointer by Monk that extended Whitesboro’s lead to 34-28. Moments later, Monk hit yet another 3-pointer to give Whitesboro a 37-30 lead with 6:26 left in the game. The fifth consecutive 3-pointer by the Lady Cats prompted Howe Head Coach Derek Lands to call timeout and discuss the distance Howe was allowing Monk at the perimeter. The results from the perfectly timed Lands symposium had Harvey in the face of Monk throughout the remainder of the contest and even the final shot. Streetman quickly hit a 3-pointer followed by a Vick jumper to bring Howe within two at 37-35. Vick also turned around the game with a 3-pointer with 4:18 remaining in the game to give Howe their first lead, 38-35, since midway through the third period.
But the final four minutes were scarred with defense and missed opportunities and a shocking finish.
Streetman’s fourth-period rally in points helped her to become Howe’s leading scorer with 13 in her final game. She was followed by Harvey, who totaled 10 and pulled down a team-leading nine rebounds. Other scorers were Vick (8), Payton Griffin (5), Honore (4), and Anderson (3).
Just behind Harvey in rebounds was Griffin with eight and Streetman (4), and Vick (4).
Howe finishes the season with a record of 21-10 on the season.