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  • Writer's pictureMaddison Wachnowsky

The Lady Cougars are Going Back to the State Finals!

On Wednesday night in the Cougar Den, Pulaski County beat Loudoun Valley 41-39 when Keslyn Secrist hit a buzzer beater layup in overtime to advance to the state finals.

Going into the game last night everyone had such high hopes for the Lady Cougars, and at the end of the night they met those high hopes. At the beginning of the game the Cougars were off to a rocky start when we were trailing Loudoun 9-7 at the end of the first.

The beginning of the second was a nerve racking event to watch while Pulaski tried to dig themselves out of the hole they created. However, in the second, once again, the Lady Cougars got outscored by the Lady Vikings with Pulaski scoring 8 and the Vikings scoring 11, this put the score at 20-15 going into the half.

“Going into this game we knew it was going to be difficult,” Ally Fleenor said. “There's always room for improvement on things like our shots and simple turnovers. But with that we have a habit of playing bad through the first, and then playing really well through the second half like we have throughout the season.”

The third quarter was a tough quarter for the Lady Cougars since they went into it trailing by five.

Then things really started looking good. The Cougars SHUT DOWN the Vikings leaving them scoreless in the fourth quarter. Ally’s two free throws at the beginning of the fourth and her layup with 3:26 remaining, both helped get Pulaski within two points of the Vikings. With Taryn Blankenship’s shot to tie the game at 31-31 with 1:20 remaining, the game started becoming very nerve racking. Shortly after Ally found herself with the ball with 4.2 seconds left. She shoots it, but unfortunately misses, forcing the game into overtime.

At the start of the four minute overtime the Lady Cougars started with the ball, but that didn’t last long when Kate Brennan of Loudoun Valley shot a three from down deep to put the Vikings up 34-31 with 3:08 remaining. The Cougars got the ball back, but Keslyn Secrist got fouled and went to the line, making only one of her shots putting the score at 34-32. Shortly after Ally Fleenor was fouled once more and was sent to the line for a one-and-one. After making the first one she got another shot, although she missed it she got her own rebound and goes back to the line once more after being fouled again. With 1:20 on the clock she made both shots making the score 37-35 with Pulaski County in the lead, but the Vikings were able to tie the game.

With 5.2 seconds left in overtime and the score being 39-39, the ball went out of bounds on the Vikings side of the court. And that's when everything happened. Keslyn Secrist worked her magic once more. Keslyn drove down the court as fast as she could and threw the ball up with her left hand, and it went in as time expired! Pulaski county did it again!!

“It was honestly the best feeling, it felt so good,” Secrist said. “Knowing my teammates and I laid it all on the court, and pulled out the win, feels so good. We didn’t make many shots from outside, but we were doing good inside the paint and we took advantage of it. I’m speechless. I’m so proud of my teammates for not giving up and for believing and supporting each other. We are now looking forward to Saturday's game in our home gym!!”

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