Girls varsity basketball defeats FHN 57-56 on buzzer-beating three


With 5.5 seconds remaining in the game, the Rangers came out of a timeout trailing 56-54. Senior Madi Winter received the inbound, drove up the court through three defenders, and shot as the buzzer sounded. She found only the bottom of the net to give FHC a 57-56 victory over rival Forest Hills Northern.

“I’ve always seen other people make those last-second shots and honestly I always thought it’d be cool to be the one to make it,” said Madi, who finished with 30 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds, and 1 enormous shot.

“She’s unbelievable,” Head Coach Kristina Prins said. “We had absolute confidence in giving her the ball [for the last shot]. Tonight just showed the real caliber of her skills.”

FHC came out hot to start the game, jumping out to a 7-0 lead before the Huskies could score. This lead didn’t last, however, as the first quarter ended with the Rangers only up 15-13.

In the second quarter, Northern’s star post player came alive while scoring 6 of her 18 points in a matter of minutes. This brought the Huskies within one point with a minute left in the half. Two big threes gave the Huskies major momentum at the end of the half, 27-22 FHN.

The Huskies came out of the locker room unable to miss, as they took a 10 point lead two minutes into the third. After falling behind by the largest deficit all game, junior Claire Baguley turned the tide back in favor of the Rangers with 6 quick points to bring FHC within two. A steal and layup from freshman Zoe Lipke tied it up, and another Ranger steal gave them a 36-34 lead with four minutes left in the third. This relentless defense is what kept FHC in the game, as the Rangers had 17 steals and 4 blocks last night as a team.

“At halftime, we talked and got each other pumped up. From there, we were able to connect again,” said senior Breanna Probst.

The score continued to go back and forth for the rest of the game and neither team earned more than a four-point lead.

With one minute left in the game, Northern led 53-52. Breanna then gave FHC an essential possession; a missed Ranger shot fell into the hands of a Husky. Breanna then stole the ball, tipping it to Claire who was fouled. With FHC in the bonus, Claire was sent to the line to shoot. This three-year varsity player came through for the team, as she went 80% from the line last night. She finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds for the Rangers, including the go-ahead free throw.

“I was nervous because my free throw percentage isn’t as good as I would like, but I knew I needed to make them when it counted and I did,” said Claire, who was sent to the line in the same type of situation against FHN last season. “I looked at my coach and said, “Deja vu,a�� because that was exactly what happened last year.”

The crowd went wild as Claire secured a 54-53 lead, but seconds later Northern hit a three to take back the lead. FHC called a timeout with 5.5 seconds left, put the ball into Madi’s hands, and she executed perfectly to secure the win at the buzzer.

“I can’t express how proud I am of my team for just keeping composure after their three and taking care of the ball,” Madi said.

While this contest was back-and-forth the whole night, a key to keeping FHC in this game was Breanna’s stellar defense on Northern’s point guard. Having 28 points last game, this threat was held to just 7 last night and 0 in the first half.

“I think that was a huge factor in this win,” said Breanna, who had 4 steals, 4 rebounds, and 4 points last night. “She’s a great shooter, she’s a great player and eliminating her really helped us connect as a team and move the ball around.”

This emotional win puts the Rangers at 4-2 in the conference and undefeated against the other two Forest Hills teams. The Lady Rangers’ next game is Tuesday at Wyoming for a non-conference game, and they look to carry over the momentum and intensity from last night’s win in all future games. Many players said playing Northern was about redemption and coming from behind to defeat a rival in the final seconds is certainly a redeeming spark.

“There’s no better feeling,” Prins said. “We never gave up.”