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Shadow Ridge girls oust Liberty in overtime — PHOTOS

Sometimes a little luck at the right time is all a team needs to pull out a big win.

On Thursday night, Shadow Ridge’s girls basketball team got that break late in overtime.

Jada Livingston banked home a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 12 seconds left, and the Mustangs held on for a 49-46 win over visiting Liberty in the Class 5A state quarterfinals.

“I’ll take it,” said Shadow Ridge coach Johnny Wheeler, whose team didn’t get many lucky bounces early in the game. “It changed everything on the bench, truthfully. It gave us more energy right there. Because we knew right there we can probably win this right now.”

The fourth-seeded Mustangs (17-6) will play top-seeded Centennial in the semifinals Thursday at the Thomas & Mack Center.

With the game tied at 44, Shadow Ridge senior Zh’mya Martin dribbled to the right wing, then found a wide-open Livingston at the top of the key. Her shot was a little stronger than it needed to be, but it went off the glass and in with 12 seconds to break a 44-44 tie.

“I felt happy,” said sophomore forward Jaslyn Jefferson, who pulled down a game-high 23 rebounds. “I was proud of her at that moment.”

The Mustangs fouled Satsuki Bradley in the backcourt, sending her to the line with 8.5 seconds to go. Bradley missed both foul shots, but the Patriots (16-11) got the rebound.

Lillian Hastings missed a wild 3-pointer, but Daisha Peavy grabbed the rebound and was fouled with 3.8 seconds left. She made both free throws to cut the lead to a point at 47-46.

Liberty then fouled Martin, who knocked down both foul shots with 2.8 seconds for the final margin.

The Patriots had a final chance, but Jefferson was able to track down Leiliani Harworth’s errant baseball pass as time expired.

“It feels good,” Jefferson said of the win. “It feels rewarding. I’m proud of my team.”

Things didn’t start out so well for the Mustangs, who missed their first 18 field goals before Martin hit a runner with 6:15 to go in the second quarter to give Shadow Ridge an 11-10 lead. She added a transition jumper and a 3-pointer from the top of the key to help get the offense going. Martin scored 15 of her 18 points in the first half.

“Truthfully, I can’t say more about my senior Zh’mya,” Wheeler said. “She really took control of the game for us and won it down the stretch.”

Martin had all four of the team’s field goals in the first half, but Jefferson stepped up to help in the second half.

“I told them at halftime, somebody’s going to have to score besides Zh’myah,” Wheeler said. “They all stepped up when it counted.”

Jefferson struggled to score early, missing her first 15 shots. But she turned things around from there, scoring 13 points after halftime and making 6 of her final 7 shots from the field. She finished with 15 points, 23 rebounds, four blocked shots and two steals.

“She got it going when it counted,” Wheeler said.

Jefferson and Peavy battled back-and-forth in the post down the stretch. Jefferson scored 11 points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and Peavy had 14 points after halftime. She finished with 24 points, 19 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Harworth added eight points and 15 rebounds for the Patriots.

“This is the first time they’ve moved on (past the first round),” Wheeler said. “So I’m so happy for these girls. It’s the first time they’ve had a home game in over five years in the playoffs and the first time they’re going to the Thomas & Mack. So this is huge.”

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