By Mike Bebernes
University senior guard Lysi Gonzales banked in a desperation turnaround jump shot from thirty feet as time expired to defeat heavily favored Convent of the Sacred Heart 49-47 in the CIF-North Coast Section quarterfinals on Saturday at Kezar Pavilion.
“I’m not a long-range shooter,” said Gonzales. “It was really just a shot in the dark.”
The shot culminated a tightly contested game in which neither team led by more than seven points at any time.
Second-seeded Convent (25-4) took a 28-26 point lead into halftime and led by five points with two minutes remaining in the game.
Junior forward India Pearce led the Cubs with 14 points, including a clutch free throw to give her team a one-point lead with just 5.2 seconds remaining.
Convent standout senior forward Scarlett Kirk scored 10 points, though she was forced into a rough shooting night by tough Red Devil defense.
“[University] played very, very smart,” said Convent coach Kara Okamoto.
The seventh-seed Red Devils (19-11) were led by senior captain Stephanie Lee’s 12 points and 10 points from Cameron Ruby, who hit huge jumper plus one that cut the Convent lead to two points with 1:33 left.
University faced an inbound from just beyond half court with a mere 3.7 seconds left on the clock. Convent prevented the Red Devils from inbounding the ball to their best shooters and forced the pass to Gonzales, who at that point was 0-for-1 from the field with zero points.
“We shut down who we thought we needed to,” said Okamoto.
As Gonzales released the low-percentage shot, her expectations were not high.
“I didn’t think it was going to go in,” she said. “As it started to get a little closer, I was thinking ‘It would be awesome if it went in’”