CEDAR RAPIDS — It may go down as the weakest celebration of a game-winning shot in the history of girls’ basketball.
OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but Danielle Franklin basically just stood there after hoisting a pure 22-foot trey that hit nothing but net at the buzzer Friday night to give Cedar Rapids Washington a 65-62 win over Cedar Rapids Prairie.
She was mobbed by her teammates, but all Franklin could do was manage a smile. She muttered something to herself as she walked toward half court for the postgame hand shake.
“I was kind of in shock,” Franklin said. “I didn’t actually feel myself hitting the shot.”
But she did. Courteney McCrary’s 3-pointer with 31 seconds left capped a furious late comeback for Prairie (9-4), which trailed by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Washington (10-3) called timeout and passed the ball around the perimeter for the last shot. It appeared the Warriors wouldn’t get that last shot off when Franklin received a pass with two seconds left at least a couple feet past the 3-point line.
But she calmly set herself and fired.
“I knew I had to shoot it right away,” Franklin said.
“That wasn’t the first option,” admitted Washington Coach Frank Howell. “To tell you the truth, we were trying to throw the ball into the high post and make a back cut. The score was tied, a 3 or a two, it didn’t matter. But the biggest thing was we wanted to run the clock down and get a shot. Fortunately we were able to get a shot off in time.”
Howell was asked the distance he thought Franklin’s winner came from.
“I don’t know,” he said. “But it seemed like I could reach out and touch her.”
Franklin had 16 of her game-high 25 points in the second half. She and Abby Herb (18 points) were too much at times for Prairie on the interior, especially on the offensive glass.
But give the Hawks mega props for hanging around. They got busy defensively down the stretch, causing repeated Wash turnovers.
Alisa Weiland had 21 points to lead Prairie, including five 3-pointers. Cyerra Hutchins added 12 and McCrary 10.
“I don’t know how (Franklin) made it, personally,” said McCrary, “She was far from the 3-point line and she had a hand in her face. I thought we did very well defensively.”
Despite both being in the MVC’s Valley Division, this game did not count in the conference standings. The return February match-up at Washington will.