By Jeremy McDonald
STAYTON, Ore.– For what it’s worth, Regis made a statement in their 42-40 comeback win over Yoncalla Friday night.
They’re aiming for bigger and better things this year.
Down 40-31 with three minutes left to the Eagles, they slowly started to chip away at the deficit. 40-35, 40-37 after Ava Silbernagel’s shot.
When Sara Wiltsey hit the game-tying three with 1:29 left at 40, it came down to their defense to even make a last second stand possible as they nab a crucial rebound and got a timeout with 15 seconds remaining in the game.
“It was all about putting pressure and keeping a good mindset, not giving up in those three minutes. It was kind of crunch-time so it added a little bit of pressure and it came together then,” said Wiltsey.
The pressure was there yes as they sat there in the timeout huddle. One bad pass and it could spell heartbreak for the Rams who will have a week off before their next game on the road to Nestucca.
But there was a sense of relief as well as they broke from their huddle.
If they don’t get a shot right here, it’s overtime with momentum on their side already riding on some from their 9-0 run to tie the game at 40. A win in regulation would be nice though.
They inbound it in by their student section. Lily Pearsons to Silbernagel at the free throw line, back to Pearson who zipped it to Brooklyn Cross.
Student section started to count down from seven as Cross passed it to Silbernagel who bounced it out to Wiltsey coming from under the hoop towards their bench, sending up a shot up with three seconds remaining.
It lands with 1.4 seconds left for the 42-40 as Yoncalla calls timeout as the Junior lets out a little fist-pump of excitement.
“It was awesome. That was the first time we’ve done that,” said Wiltsey of the sequence of events. “(Head Coach Mark Ferguson) was like ‘whoever is open, you’re free to shoot. Whatever gets us ahead, just take it’. It was a tied game so it was going into overtime.”
Wiltsey finished with 16 points, Alicen Ditter added another eight and Persons had six for the Rams.