Dillingham's Bryn Tennyson received four chances to hit a game-winning shot Tuesday against defending Class 2A state champion Point Hope, eventually sealing a 43-42 girls basketball win on the last of three free-throw attempts.
When the last point fell, there were 3.6 seconds remaining in the Class 2A state semifinal at Sullivan Arena, and Point Hope's final shot attempt was blocked.
Tennyson, who led Dillingham with 16 points, nearly made a driving layup to take the lead, but was fouled and awarded two free throws.
"When I'm back home practicing my free throws, I picture the championship game at state," said Tennyson, who missed the first and second foul shot, but was given a reprieve when Point Hope was called for a lane violation during the second. "Once she had the line violation, I just calmed down and I knew I'd take my time and I knew I had that one made."
Tennyson swished the final free-throw and Class 2A player of the year Drew Carlos blocked Point Hope's 3-point attempt at the buzzer. Tennyson and Carlos (seven points) each finished with eight rebounds, and Tiera Schroeder pitched in 10 points for the Wolverines.
Point Hope's Amanda Sage scored a game-high 20 points in helping Harpooners hold the lead for most of the game. Two free throws from Carlos gave Dillingham its first lead at 34-33 with just less than seven minutes to play, but Sage answered with a pretty 3-point shot from the right wing to put Point Hope back on top 36-34.
Point Hope's Chelsea Tooyak (nine points) broke a 40-40 tie with a hard drive down the center of the key with less than a minute remaining, but Dillingham's Sydney Dray tied it at 42-42 when she sank a pair of free throws with less than 40 seconds to play.
Point Hope's Emily Oktollik had a chance to put the Harpooners on top when she was fouled with 9.7 seconds left, but she missed two free throws to set up Tennyson's winning sequence.
Tennyson took an inbound pass and raced the length of the floor before being fouled at the rim and going to the foul line for the game's final point.
"It felt great to come back as a team," Tennyson said. "It wasn't just me, it wasn't just one other person, it was us as a team. We came together."
Craig 39, Glennallen 29
Defense ruled the court Tuesday in Craig's 39-29 win over Glennallen in a Class 2A girls semifinal. Craig held Glennallen to 19 percent shooting and just nine made field goals at Sullivan Arena.
"Our coach always tells us defense and rebounds and we probably got the most rebounds we've ever got," said Craig's Maggie Dinon. "Everyone was just going for tips even if we didn't have good position."
There was no rebound necessary when Dinon (nine points) launched her team's only 3-point attempt early in the fourth quarter. The shot carried heavy impact in a tight, low scoring game that was tied 22-22 after three quarters. Dinon's trey put Craig up 27-22 less than two minutes into the fourth quarter.
Glennallen, led by 12 points from Ariana Dougall came back to tie it at 27-27 when Dougall buried a 3-pointer and took 28-27 lead on a free throw from Cassela John.
Back-to-back buckets from Marie Yates, who led Craig with 10 points, put Craig back in front 31-28 with 2:30 to play and it remained in control until the end.
Craig only has six players on its roster, compared to 11 playing for Glennallen, which applied heavy defensive pressure throughout.
"We were all tired but we kept pushing," Dinon said.