With the shot clock about to expire, Sunnyside guard Emilee Maldonado launched a high arcing bomb from way beyond the three-point line.
It fell in.
A couple possessions later she hit another triple. Then Chastitee Garza added another at the buzzer and the Grizzlies built an 11-point lead to enter the fourth quarter.
The Camas Papermakers couldn’t recover and Sunnyside (20-4, 11-1) went on to win 45-34 in the 4A consolation semifinals at the Tacoma Dome on Friday.
“Pure heart, desire, they didn’t want it (the season) to be over,” Grizzlies coach Enrique Puente said about what made the difference for his team. “We knew it was going to be difficult because we sustained a couple of ankle injuries last night, but man, the girls just fought through it and showed their true character and poise.”
Garza and Maldonado both twisted their ankles in the Sunnyside’s 47-48 loss to No. 3 seeded Glacier Lake on Thursday.
Puente considered not playing Maldonado, but she insisted she was fine and went on to lead the Grizzlies with 16 points including four triples.
“I knew this game was going to be tough and I’m a crucial part of this team,” Maldonado said. “I wanted to lead by example and help on both sides of the court.”
Garza finished with 10 points, sinking her only two 3-pointer attempts and went 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
Ashlee Maldonado and Jessica Mendoza each had three steals on the defensive side of the ball for the Grizzlies.
Camas (17-10, 8-0) struggled to hit shots in the second half going 4-of-21. Haley Hanson led the Papermakers with nine points and Emma Jones and Meghan Finley each scored five.
Sunnyside will play Central Valley (25-1, 18-0) in the consolation finals of the Hardwood Classic at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.
Score by periods
Sunnyside 12 11 14 8 – 45
Camas 6 11 9 8 - 34