PROPHETSTOWN – Down by 13 with less than 6 minutes left to a strong Riverdale team, things looked bleak for Prophetstown.
Ten minutes of game time later, including overtime, the Prophets were celebrating one of their best wins in recent memory, a 51-49 Three Rivers Conference victory in a game between the conference co-champs from last season.
Prophetstown’s Cassie Reiley sent the game to overtime when she banked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from the right wing to end regulation and a 15-2 Prophets’ tear.
“I guess the bank was open tonight,” laughed Reiley, who hit five 3-pointers and scored 18 points. “I heard everyone yelling ‘shoot it,’ and I saw the clock going down, so I just threw it there. It was kind of a turn-around, flip it up and hope for the best.
“I didn’t even watch it. I kind of walked away thinking the game was probably over. Then, I turned at the last second to see it bank in. I couldn’t believe it. It was a lucky shot.”
In the 4-minute overtime period, the teams exchanged the lead a few times before Prophetstown (5-1, 2-0) took it for good on a pair of free throws by sophomore Corrie Reiley (9 points) and two more by Cassie, her senior sister, that made it 49-46 with 2:19 remaining.
Riverdale (4-1, 1-1) had a chance to tie in the final seconds, but Hannah Nimrick (team-high 19 points), last season’s Three Rivers player of the year, came up empty on a runner from the left side of the lane.
“That was crazy. It was probably our best win ever,” said the Prophets’ Riley Walters, who scored nine of her game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. “I’m shocked. Everything started falling together for us.”
The improbable comeback was even more improbable against the Rams.
“They’ve had our number,” Prophetstown coach Don Robinson said. “In the summer they beat us three out of four, and last year they beat us both times.”
The Prophets had been in this situation already this season.
“In the Oregon tournament we were down against Oregon by about that much [14 points] and we came back but lost by one,” Cassie Reiley said. “It was almost like that game was good practice for this one.”
Riverdale was without injured starter Jess Corson and played its starting five the entire way until Megan Groves fouled out with 2:19 left in overtime.
Lauren Claus and Sydney Mericle tossed in 10 points apiece and Elle May nine for the Rams.
Star of the game: Riley Walters, Prophetstown, game-high 20 points, 9 in 4th quarter and overtime
Key performers: Hannah Nimrick, Riverdale, team-high 19 points; Cassie Reiley, Prophetstown, 18 points, 5 3-pointers, including banking in game-tying 3 at buzzer to end regulation
Up next: Prophetstown at Erie, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday