WHITEMARSH>> Germantown Academy led from early in the second quarter all the way until the final 22 seconds Friday night against Abington Friends School at Germantown Academy.
The Patriots fell behind the Kangaroos by one point when Kendall Hodges hit a pair of free throws.
The Inter-Ac champs called timeout with 11 seconds left and then called a second.
They put the ball in Jaye Haynes hands and she rewarded them. She drove to the basket to score, give the Patriots the lead and eventually the 56-55 PAISAA semifinal win when Hodges’ three-quarters court heave came up short.
JAYE HAYNES WINS IT! 56-55 GA! pic.twitter.com/B8sQLikY9v
— Ed Morlock (@emor09) February 23, 2019
“I just knew this is our year,” Haynes said. “Nothing is going to get in the way of it. I just pictured it’s me and the basket. No one is stopping me from getting through. I just put my head down and went.
“We switched it up a little bit (after the second timeout) and I’m just so happy my coaches believed in me to take the last shot. I’m really happy about that.”
GA built a comfortable lead after a 12-0 second-quarter run turned an 18-17 deficit into a 29-18 advantage. Haynes and Maddie Vizza each had six points in the second. The Patriots maintained an 11-point lead at halftime, 37-26.
The Kangaroos fought back in the second half.
They cut their deficit to five, 39-34 and 41-36, in the third quarter, but an Elle Stauffer putback and Vizza bank shot at the buzzer made it a 45-36 game after three quarters.
AFS opened the fourth on a 10-2 run to get their deficit to one, 47-46.
The GA lead hovered between one and four points until Hodge’s free throws gave the Kangaroos a 55-54 lead – their first since 18-17 – with 21.9 seconds left.
“We’re down 11 to a 28-1 team in their own gym and we came all the way back,” AFS coach Jeff Bond said. “We should feel good about that. It was a good season.
“We started trying to apply a little bit of pressure (in the second half) and stir it up a little bit – get some steals – and we did. I think our defensive pressure was better in the second half. I think we lost them a little bit in the first half, sometimes they got some easy shots. We picked up our defensive pressure, got a couple steals and tried to attack the basket.”
The teams played a tight first quarter. They traded leads before Stauffer scored a wide-open layup off an inbounds pass as time expired to give the Patriots a 17-15 advantage.
Stauffer, Vizza and Haynes each had 16 points for GA.
Hodges led AFS with 15 while Paige Mott added 14, Cire Worley 11 and Mihjae Hayes 10.
Germantown Academy will face Shipley in the PAISAA championship Saturday at 5 p.m. at Jefferson University.
“I’m really confident,” Haynes said. “Our momentum is in our favor at this point. We’re ready to go.”
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