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Peninsula Daily News
PORT TOWNSEND — After a few bounces on the rim, the entire gym at Port Townsend High School seemed to give up on Codi Hallinan’s shot.
But after pausing for a moment on the rim, the ball dropped through the net.
“I don’t know how the hell it went in,” Port Townsend coach Randy Maag said.
But it did, and Hallinan became the hero with 26 seconds left in overtime of Port Townsend’s 52-49 win over Charles Wright Academy in Saturday’s 1A tri-district play-in game.
Now they’re in, and the Redskins next play at Overlake on Wednesday in yet another loser-out game.
With the Redskins trailing 49-48, Hallinan received a pass from Jewel Johnson and noticed the defense had backed off.
So she drove and was fouled on the side of her arm as she sent the ball toward the hoop.
The foul was hard enough that Hallinan didn’t even think the ball would make it to the rim.
“I was watching it, and then I thought it might make it there,” Hallinan said. “Everybody was staring at it.”
“When it bounced on the rim, and it bounced up, I was praying it was going to go in. And then when it went in, I was crying. I was holding back the tears. I was so happy.”
That isn’t exactly the best state of mind to be in when the difference between a one-point or two-point lead is dependent on making a free throw.
But the situation wasn’t new to Hallinan. She sank two free throws that tied the score in the waning seconds of last month’s game with Olympic.
“I was very emotional,” Hallinan said.
“I’ve done that before, where I’ve shot free throws to tie it, and I was just thinking, ‘OK, I’ve got to have the same mindset. Just take a deep breath and follow through — my normal shot. I just need to not think about it.’ ”
She made the free throw, and after a Charles Wright turnover, Johnson added another free throw to give Port Townsend the 52-49 win.
Hallinan and Johnson combined to score 20 of the Redskins’ last 21 points.
Hallinan finished with 20 points — setting a new career-high in scoring for the second game in row — six blocks and six rebounds.
Johnson finished with 19 points, four assists, four rebounds and two steals.
“Easily, Jewel and Codi were amazing, but I told the girls, our goal was figure out a way to help your team win,” Maag said.
“Patricia Reeves stepped up and helped us. We box-and-one’d that No. 52 [Shoni Pritchett]. Anne Meek came in, shut her down for a few minutes.
“I ultimately think that was the difference in the game, because we wore her out. I think 52, at the end of the game, was dog-tired. I think her legs were gone.”
Pritchett, just a freshman, did score 26 points, but only shot 9 for 33 from the field.
“I kind of tried to get under her skin a little bit,” Reeves said of defending Pritchett.
“I kind of grabbed her jersey a little bit, not so hard, I kind of just tugged on it. I didn’t ride her as she was driving, I kind of took an angle so I met her at the spot.”
Hallinan picked up her third and fourth fouls within the first two minutes of the second half, sending her to the bench for the rest of the third quarter.
Trailing 25-20 at that point, plenty Redskins stepped up to keep Port Townsend in the game while its leading scorer sat.
Johnson scored on a coast-to-coast layup and later swished a big 3-pointer.
Enani Rubio jumped in front of a Charles Wright pass and then converted a layup at the other end. Rubio had a nice overall game with four points, four assists and three rebounds.
Gabbi Hossack, in foul trouble herself, took over the post on defense and hauled in some big rebounds.
She finished with seven boards, three assists, two blocks and five points.
Port Townsend trailed by five when Hallinan went to the bench, but by the end of the third quarter, the score was tied at 31.
“It was amazing. It was a matter of trying to survive,” Maag said of playing extended minutes without Hallinan.
“We hung in there.”
It wasn’t the Redskins’ first close game of the season. They lost four games by two points or less this season.
Those hard lessons paid off Saturday night.
“I think those games really helped us,” Maag said.
“That shot that Codi made that just barely rolled over the rim, I’m thinking that was a payback for all the pain and torture we had this year.
“I’m just so happy. The girls just deserved it. They’ve worked hard this year, it’s a great group of kids, the team chemistry is fantastic.
“I’m really, really happy for them.”
Port Townsend 52,
Charles Wright 49, OT
Charles Wright 11 9 11 13 5— 49
Port Townsend 10 8 13 13 8— 52
Charles Wright (49)
Moler 2, Davis 13, Portnow 2, Oyetuga 2, Pritchett 26, Graeve 4.
Port Townsend (52)
Johnson 19, Rubio 4, Lyons 2, Hossack 5, Reeves 2, Hallinan 20.