Brianna Juarez hit a long three-point shot midway through the fourth quarter to help Brookings-Harbor break free of Klamath Union and post a 37-26 girls basketball victory Friday night at the CFCU Pavilion.
The win in the “play-in” game means coach Chris Schofield’s team needs one more victory to earn a spot in the eight-team State Tournament in Corvallis’ Gil Coliseum.
Juarez’s shot with four minutes, 15 seconds left, boosted Brookings-Harbor from a five-point lead to an eight-point margin and the game wasn’t in doubt after that.
“I practice those (three-pointers) every day so I felt comfortable,” Juarez said as she celebrated with teammates after the game.
“That was huge,” Schofield said of the shot. “We felt like they were chasing us the rest of the way.
“They do a good job defensively, but we felt if we could make it a half-court game and keep the score low we could pull away at the end, which is what happened.”
It wasn’t certain immediately after the game who Brookings-Harbor will play next. However, Schofield believes his club will probably play on the road.
“We’ll try to just keep rolling,” he said.
Mallory McDonald led the winners with 12 points and Lakota Hatcher added 10.
The victory moves Brookings-Harbor to 16-7 for the season after finishing Far West League play at 6-4. Klamath Union of Klamath Falls, a member of the Skyline Conference, fell to 18-9 overall.
The teams battled through a low-scoring first half, just the scenario Schofield wanted. Brookings-Harbor led 7-6 after one quarter and 11-9 at halftime.
Seconds after Juarez’s critical basket, the Lady Bruins stretched their lead to 29-19 when McDonald fed a pass to Hatcher, who sank a layup and was fouled. She made the free throw to put the team up by 11 points.
Brookings-Harbor kept the pressure on in the waning minutes. Whitney Floyd stole the ball from a Klamath Union player and drove for a layup with 2:43 left to move the score to 31-20.
McDonald added a pair of free throws with 1:41 remaining as Brookings-Harbor stretched out to a 35-22 lead.
Klamath Union scored a field goal with :10 left to cut the margin to 11.