RENO — Bailee Hosier set the record for most 3-pointers made in a state girls basketball tournament.
But the Pahranagat Valley senior guard’s most important shot Saturday came from the free-throw line.
With her team clinging to a three-point lead, Hosier made the front end of a 1-and-1 with 12 seconds remaining to seal the Panthers’ 50-46 victory over Eureka in the Division IV title game at the Lawlor Events Center.
“I was actually really nervous,” Hosier said. “I went to the free-throw line and I was shaking. All I said was, ‘Bailee, you have to just make one.’ ”
Hosier finished with 21 points and made six 3-pointers to give her 14 for the tournament. The previous record was held by Bishop Gorman’s Aaryn Ellenberg, who made ten 3-pointers during the 2010 Class 4A tournament.
Traci Strong added 13 points and four assists, and Kimberly Lewis had eight points along with 14 rebounds and three blocked shots as the Panthers (25-4) avenged a 48-30 loss to Eureka in last season’s state final.
The title, the program’s third in four years, has extra significance for the Panthers, as longtime coach Amy Huntsman was diagnosed with breast cancer Feb. 6. Immediately after the final horn, Kennedy Huntsman sprinted to the bench and embraced her mom.
“First of all, my daughter is a senior, and these kids are like kids to me,” an emotional Amy Huntsman said. “These kids rallied around me. They’ve been my support. … It makes me really humble.”
Pahranagat Valley led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter and went ahead 44-31 on a baseline jumper by Jamie Hansen with 6:45 remaining in the fourth before the Vandals (28-3) rallied. Natalie Norcutt had six of her game-high 26 points as part of a 15-5 run, and Eureka trailed 49-46 with 1:12 to play.
After a timeout with 16.6 seconds to go, Pahranagat Valley nearly threw away the ball on the inbounds pass but retained possession on a jump ball. Hosier was then fouled, and her first free throw hit the front of the rim and bounced in to put the Panthers ahead by four points.
“I think so many times it comes down to something like that — a free throw, a nice defensive stop, something simple and fundamental you work on all year and for all of your life,” Huntsman said.
In the boys final, Whittell finished the game with a 6-0 run on the way to a 53-48 win over Virginia City.
Contact reporter David Schoen at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSchoenLVRJ.