By Tom Ramstetter, Enquirer contributor
Haley Vorherr’s only field goal of the game Saturday afternoon at Mason High School did not give her team the lead or tie the score in Mason’s 55-54 comeback win over Greater Miami Conference rival Lakota West.
But it was big.
The senior guard drained a 3-pointer from the corner with 1:05 to play in the fourth quarter to pull her team to within one point, turning the tide one final time in a game of changing tides. Sophomore guard Jailyn Mason followed seconds later with a jumper in the lane to give the Comets the lead for good at 53-52.
“I’m a senior this year and I’m getting a lot more playing time than I have previous years, so yeah, that’s probably the biggest shot I’ve hit in a game,” Vorherr said. “It felt really great.”
Senior guard Jenna Gunn sealed the win with two free throws in the final 30 seconds.
The Comets (13-0, 9-0 GMC), ranked No. 1 in the Enquirer Division I area coaches’ poll, completed a regular-season sweep of No. 3 Lakota West. Mason beat the Firebirds (9-4, 4-4) in the first matchup, 45-39 in overtime, Dec. 4 at Lakota West.
Mason trailed the entire first half Saturday and Lakota West led by as many as nine. But the Comets surged to a 36-31 lead midway through the third quarter. The Firebirds used a 14-3 run spanning the third and fourth quarters to take a 49-43 lead with less than four minutes to play.
There were five lead changes and three ties in the second half and the Comets were behind 52-48 when Vorherr got the ball in the corner.
“We were running spread and everybody was just moving the ball around and I ended up in the corner,” Vorherr said. “I was going to pass into Lauren (Van Kleunen) in the post, but the girl doubled down on her. I think she knew what I was going to do, so I just shot.”
It was the only shot she made in only three attempts.
“I told her that is why we believe in our players,” Mason coach Rob Matula said. “She’s a senior who played JV as a junior and she has just worked unbelievably hard on her game. We have confidence in her. Just calm and cool in the corner, she loaded it up and knocked it down. It was huge.”