By Lee Coleman, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle
The finish of the girls championship game pitting Garber (12-4) against Pond Creek-Hunter (10-4) Saturday night in the Skeltur Conference tournament will surely be one folks will talk about for awhile.
Trailing 45-43 with 5.9 seconds to play, Garber junior Sydney Postier bobbled the ball out of bounds.
When Pond Creek-Hunter inbounded the ball, they were fouled and went to the line to shoot a one-and-one.
They missed. Postier grabbed the ball and dribbling in a straight line up the middle of the court, she barely crossed the mid-court line before heaving a last tick shot as time expired.
The high-arching shot dropped from the sky and found nothing but the center of the basket for an electrifying 3-point goal that ended Pond Creek-Hunter’s bid to win a second straight Skeltur title, 46-45.
In the quiet of the moment after the ball went in and fans realized what had just happened, Chisholm Trail Expo Center erupted in loud screaming as the Garber girls encircled and hugged Postier in a huddle of victory and pure amazement.
“We just knew we were going to win,” Postier said. “We never gave up. We had heart. We came in as the third seed and we had nothing to lose so we left it all on the floor.
“I’ve shot five 3-pointers my entire career and two of them happened to be tonight and they just went in.
“I didn’t know how much time was left so I just threw it up there and hoped for the best.”
Garber coach Jamie Davis was ecstatic about ‘the shot heard round the Expo.’
“We’re such a young basketball team and Sydney is our oldest player,” Davis said. “We wanted the ball in her hands at the end. She was having to keep the clock in her head. She crossed half-court and let it go. It didn’t even hit the rim. It was a beautiful shot.”
But the real story of this game was the hard-fought battle between two well-coached teams that know a little something about playing defense.
It was a classic back-and-forth game and after Garber took a 2-1 lead at the 5:47 mark of the opening quarter, Pond Creek-Hunter regained the lead less than a minute later and never trailed the rest of the game until the end.
The Lady Panthers led 25-21 at halftime and 38-34 at the end of three quarters.
“Our kids didn’t panic when they got down,” said Davis after coaching in her seventh Skeltur tournament. “They plugged away and they didn’t get worked up and panic.
“I thought we showed a lot of mental toughness. When we got down, it would have been easy to fold the tents but we stayed with it and I just couldn’t be prouder of them.”
Postier, who scored 20 points on the night, scored on a driving lay-up with 5:24 to play, cutting the Lady Panther lead to 41-39. With 1:02 to go, freshman Jade Jones hit the front end of a one-and-one to give Pond Creek-Hunter a 44-41 edge.
Back came Postier, this time hitting a short jumper in the paint to trim the lead to 44-43 with 31 seconds to go. Back came Jones, hitting another free throw with 18 seconds to go for a 45-43 lead.
With 5.9 seconds left in regulation, Pond Creek-Hunter had a chance at the free throw line to secure the win but wasn’t able to convert the first shot of the one-and-one and Poistier’s heroics ensued.
“The Skeltur Tournament is such a big tournament in this community. It is only fitting the finals ended this way,” Davis said. “Pond Creek is a great basketball team and it was back and forth and we were just trying to stay close to give ourselves a chance at the end.
“These were two basketball teams that played pretty good defense all night. A lot of credit goes to Pond Creek. They played extremely well.’’
“I am just really proud of our kids.”