The Holy Names Academy Cougars girls basketball team earned a victory on the road in a loser-out Class 3A SeaKing playoff matchup against the Bellevue Wolverines.
Holy Names, which trailed Bellevue by 10 points at halftime, registered a 49-48 comeback win on Feb. 14 at Bellevue High School. Bellevue finished the 2018-19 season with an overall record of 11-12.
With the Wolverines trailing 47-46 with under 20 seconds left in regulation, Bellevue head coach Nick Crossan put the ball in junior guard Kara Choi’s hands. Choi, who finished with 13 points in the contest, drove to the hoop but missed a layup attempt with 12 seconds left on the clock. Holy Names secured possession of the ball as freshman guard Saniya Rahman got fouled with just 8.2 seconds remaining in regulation. Rahman sunk both free-throw attempts, extending the Cougars’ lead to 49-46. Bellevue junior Katie Reid scored a layup as time expired. There was contact on the play but no foul was called by the officials and Holy Names escaped with a one-point victory.
Choi didn’t let the loss in the season finale dampen her spirits 15 minutes following the final game of her junior season.
“It was really tough but honestly I’m so proud of my whole team this year. We improved so much since the beginning. Most of us haven’t played varsity level basketball before this year. It has been an honor to play with this team. It was a tough loss but I’m still happy to play with this great group of girls,” Choi explained.
Choi suffered a strained calf at the end of the third quarter of play but returned to the floor with 4:56 left in regulation in the fourth period. Crossan marveled at Choi’s epic performance in defeat.
“She has been great all year long. She is a heck of a leader and heck of a player. I’m lucky to be able to coach her. She is a great teammate and makes the players around her better. Everyone steps up when she is in the game,” Crossan said of Choi.
Choi finished with 13 points against the Cougars. Bellevue hit seven 3-pointers (six in the first half) against Holy Names.
“I’m extremely proud of our girls. We never gave up in any game we played. They gave tremendous effort all year long. Our leaders were just phenomenal. I think our future is pretty bright. Credit to them (Holy Names) for not giving up. They got out of here with a win and unfortunately our season is over,” Crossan said.