Aimee Rischard had the words written in blue ink on her arm.
“Make it happen.”
The Mount St. Mary senior point guard certainly did that, coming up with the loose ball off an inbounds pass and then the layup with 3.9 seconds remaining late Thursday to lift the sixth-ranked Rockets past No. 4 Harrah 52-51 in the Class 4A state quarterfinals at State Fair Arena.
“It’s really shocking,” said Rischard, who finished with 22 points. “I didn’t even think about what it was like to lose because we were in this exact situation last year.
“I think we all made it happen. It was a team effort. I’m so happy for my girls and we’ve got two more.”
The win capped a wild day in the quarterfinals in which every lower seeded team advanced. The ending mirrored the ending in the previous game, in which Vinita upset top-seeded Weatherford on a turnover and last-second basket.
Mount St. Mary (23-6) advances to play Anadarko in Friday’s semifinals at 1:30 p.m. The Warriors knocked off Ada, 40-37, to start the day of craziness.
RIschard and the Rockets finished it in style, though.
Trailing 51-50 with 7.6 seconds remaining, Mount St. Mary’s Jordan Hagood deflected an inbounds pass and then Rischard made the go-ahead basket. Harrah had one more chance at a desperation shot but did not come close.
“I’m speechless,” Mount St. Mary coach Rory Hamilton said. “She’s got the heart of a champion. Never a doubt. She willed us to victory.”
It was a victory that didn’t look plausible.
Darian Hill put Harrah (23-5) up 49-45 with 2:10 remaining behind a deep 3-pointer. The Rockets were able to get back within one before Shanna Visnieski ‘s two free throws.
That just set up yet another wild finish.
“Every team here is capable of winning it,” Hamilton said. “Every team’s going to make it run. It’s the team that can slow the other team down at the opportune time and fortunately we were able to do it tonight.”
Hill finished with 18 points, while Visnieski followed with 15.