BETHANY – Alva sophomore Jaden Hobbs set a state tournament record Friday night, but all everyone was talking about after the Goldbugs dramatic 63-62 win over Washington was how the game ended at Southern Nazarene University.
Hobbs scored 45 points, the most ever in a state tournament game for 5 on 5 girls, and she sank her 45th point from the free throw line with no time on the clock that ended the game.
With eight seconds remaining and the game tied 62-62, Hobbs took the ball the length of the court and fired up a runner just inside the free throw line. She rebounded her miss and put up a second shot only to miss again as the buzzer sounded.
The game appeared headed for overtime but a foul was called on the second shot attempt. With no time put back on the clock, Hobbs sank a free throw that ended the game and incensed the Washington faithful.
“No time on the clock and he calls a foul? Are you kidding me?” Washington coach Rocky Clarke said immediately after the game. “It’s ridiculous.”
Even Alva coach Eric Smith understood Clarke’s frustration.
“We will take it,” Smith said of the win. “We hung in there. We were down 12 at half and we did an outstanding job of hanging in there.”
The second half charge was led by Hobbs, who had 33 points after intermission including going 5 of 6 from behind the 3-point line. Her back to back 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter gave Alva a 61-60 lead with 1:20 remaining in the game.
A free throw by the Goldbugs Morgan Shiever made it a two-point lead then Washington’s Dagan Lampkin hit two free throws with 8.41 seconds to tie game 62-62. That’s when Alva put the ball in Hobbs’ hands to set up the dramatic finish.
“Never in my coaching career have I ever been a part of that stuff out there,” said Clarke, whose team was beaten for the first time this season and finishes with a 27-1 record. “It makes you want to scream at the top of your lungs.”
Washington’s 6-3 sophomore post Kelsey Johnson and junior Kailee Orr both had 21 points, but it wasn’t enough to offset Hobbs’ career night.
“She is a great player,” Clarke said of Hobbs.
No. 2 Alva (27-2) will meet No. 1 Adair (28-1) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the Class 3A girls state championship at State Fair Arena.
Adair defeated Heritage Hall, 59-57, in the other semifinal which ended in a similar way on a late whistle. Adair’s Keni Jo Lippe made two free throws with less than a second remaining to win the game.