Several years ago we were in a playoff game and everything was going wrong. We were 31-1 and were in danger of being upset by a team we thought we should beat handily.Our best shooter, Jennifer Harney wasn't getting many open looks and it looked like an unbelievable season was going to come to an unexpected and disappointing end. Trailing by two and with the clock quickly winding down, Jen caught the ball on the left wing and hit a 3 with a hand in her face that won the game, avoided the upset and kept our season alive. Three games later we cut down down the nets after winning the championship and finishing the season 35-1.
Three years later we were back in the Final Four and ahead by one point with about 30 seconds left to play. When our opponent scored with 10 seconds left we immediately inbounded the ball and raced down court. (We had prepared for situations like this dozens of times before and so everyone knew exactly what to do.) With four seconds left we got the open shot we wanted but unfortunately missed and their center rebounded the ball. There was a mad scramble and suddenly the ball seemed to squirt straight up in the air and into the basket with .2 seconds on the clock. Those of us on the bench had no idea what happened other than we won the game and would once again play for the Championship the next night. Only later in the locker room did we find out that when their center rebounded our miss and pulled the ball down back over her head Nicole Quinn reached up, grabbed it and somehow threw it up and in right before the final buzzer!
Three years later we were again in a playoff game and again found ourselves needing a miraculous finish. During a timeout right at the end of the game we drew up a play that would hopefully give us a chance to send the game into overtime. Instead of hitting a game tieing 2, Sarah Coleman ran off a double screen and drained a game winning 3. Four games later we cut down the nets after winning the NWAACC (Pacific Northwest) Championship with a 29-4 record. (We've called that play "Sarah" ever since.)
Three awesome finishes taking place three years apart made possible by three great players. And if that's not special enough, each of those game winning heroes share something else in common, even though I don't think they have ever met each other.
They were all born years apart on February 6th! Happy Birthday Jen, Nicole, and Sarah! I'm thinking about you!