SOLON — Great game. Bizarre ending.
Hailee Michel scored the go-ahead free throws with 7 seconds remaining in overtime — after a technical foul, no less — and Solon outlasted Iowa City Regina, 82-78, in a Class 2A regional quarterfinal girls’ basketball game Tuesday night at Solon High School.
“It was crazy,” Michel said. “I knew I had to step up to the line and make the shots.”
The game was tied at 78-all when Regina’s Kylee Homewood went to the line to shoot two free throws with 8 seconds left in the extra session.
She missed both, Michel grabbed the rebound and was fouled. Moments later, Regina Coach Brian Joens was slapped with a technical.
Suddenly, Michel was shooting four shots. She missed the first try, made the next two, then missed the last one.
Solon got possession, then Danielle Herdliska tacked on two more free throws with 4 seconds left to clinch it.
“Like (Solon Coach Mark Sovers) said (afterward), it’s too bad they didn’t let the kids decide it,” Joens said. “It is what it is. But it was a great game, a great atmosphere.”
Solon (16-7) will face No. 4 Camanche (17-3) in a regional semifinal Friday at Tipton.
The lead changed hands 24 times — six in overtime — and neither team led by more than five points.
Regina’s Kristen Gaffey nearly was the hero of the game at the end of regulation.
With the Regals (18-5) trailing 71-69, Gaffey gathered a rebound and scored — her only basket of the game — while drawing a foul with 1 second left.
She missed the free throw, and overtime ensued.
Michel led all scorers with 27 points. Kelsey Dircks added 16 for the Lady Spartans, Herdliska scored 12.
Ali Browning paced Regina with 23 points. She fouled out in the final minute of regulation. Homewood registered 15 points and 13 assists; Zoe Browning tallied 14 points.
The game featured 60 turnovers (33 by Regina), 57 fouls (including the technical) and 70 free throws. Solon hit 28 of 43 from the line; Regina was 15 of 27.
“Both teams had chances to put the game away,” Sovers said. “Kids just kept coming back, on both sides.”