Jaguar Holiday Tournament: Plant 40, Carrollwood Day 37 (OT)
TAMPA — After almost 36 minutes of hard-fought basketball, including a mighty 14-point comeback and continuous screams for Carrollwood Day School to stop holding the ball to a relative snails’ pace, Plant senior Anika Moffitt found herself on the foul line with 15.9 seconds remaining in overtime and the score tied.
One bounce by Moffitt and … swish. One more bounce and … swish.
“I wasn’t nervous,” Moffitt said. “At this point (after shooting more than 150 foul shots every day at practice) it feels like repetition.”
A few seconds after Moffitt sank her shots — and after a desperation foul by CDS and a free throw made by Plant’s Kim Shaw — Plant had finally sealed victory in the championship game of the Jaguar Holiday Tournament, 40-37.
“That warms my heart to hear that a senior (Moffitt) has that kind of confidence to step to the line and make those shots,” Plant coach Carrie Mahon said. “We have worked extra hard on foul shots this year because I thought we might find ourselves at the foul line in crucial situations this year. I felt good with Moffitt taking the shots. That girl has no fear.”
For Plant (14-1) it was a satisfying ending to a game that was often frustrating, particularly when CDS (12-2) chose to stand around at halfcourt and let minutes tick off the clock while Plant stayed back in a zone defense.
“If that’s basketball then I’m Miss America,” Mahon said. “But that’s (CDS coach Karim Nohra). He runs things to whatever he believes gives his team the best chance to win. I respect that, but I like to get it going and play.”
“That is basketball,” Nohra said. “That’s intellectual basketball. If there was a shot clock in high school basketball then I couldn’t do that. But there isn’t a shot clock. So that’s what we did.”
For the record, it not only was the first time CDS has slowed it down this year, but Nohra said Thursday afternoon before the game was the first time CDS has practiced the slow-down (darn near a stand-still) attack this season.
“And I can’t say enough with how they executed it,” Nohra said. “They did absolutely, positively everything I asked of them. They showed excellent poise and composure.”
Nohra said that his team that starts five freshmen, “Really grew up tonight. I’m so proud.”
Mahon was equally proud of her squad, which is led by a strong group of seniors, who held their composure through a 14-point CDS comeback and the maddening slow-downs.
“The (slow-down tactic) can get in your head, but we never let it in,” Mahon said. “We knew if we kept to our game we could get it done.”