PALMDALE – In a game where the Palmdale High School girls basketball team missed 17 free throws and made only five field goals after the first quarter, someone needed to be the hero.
Enter Lady Falcons senior forward Tieanna Lane.
With Palmdale and Eastside tied at 33 with 14.5 seconds left on the game clock in Tuesday night’s matchup, Palmdale junior guard Jessica Ross dribbled up the court and was immediately met by a Lions triple team. Ross passed to a trailing senior center Dharma Mitchell, who caught the ball at the 3-point line directly in front of the basket.
Mitchell took one hard dribble left and found Lane open under the basket. Lane put up a quick shot as she was falling to the ground.
Bucket. Ball game.
“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to make the shot,” Lane said. “It just went in.”
Lane’s game-winner sealed a 35-33 victory for the Lady Falcons, who improved to 5-5 in the Golden League. Eastside fell to 5-5.
Ross scored a game-high 12 points for Palmdale, while junior forward Am-Unique Williams put in eight points and Lane added six.
The Lady Falcons led for most of the game until the fourth quarter, when the Lions went on a 7-1 run to take a 32-28 lead with about two minutes left in the game. But Mitchell made two straight baskets to tie the score at 32.
Each team then split a pair of free throws, tying the score at 33 and setting up the final sequence. The Lions had possession with 2.6 seconds left, but turned the ball over on the inbounds pass.
Palmdale made only 7 of 24 free throws, and missed eight in the fourth quarter alone. Palmdale head coach Selina Gonzales said it was the team’s intensity that helped it win the game.
“The girls knew how much this game meant to them and they came out there and they fought from the beginning of the game to the end of the game,” Gonzales said. “Our heart and our love for the game is what overcame us.”
Palmdale held a 17-10 advantage over Eastside after the first quarter. The Lions took their first lead of the game at 25-24 on a basket by Taryn Jackson, who finished the game with eight points.
Eastside’s Amaya Muhammad scored six points, Tamira Johnson added four points and two players had three points.
Lions head coach Gerard Nelson said his team played hard but lacked patience, which cost Eastside the game.
“We had a couple of opportunities that we were either up by two or three points at that particular time, and then when we came back, we took one dumb shot and we didn’t have the patience for ourselves to run an offense,” Nelson said. “If you get the ball past halfcourt and it takes one pass and you shoot, it’s just going back and forth. I think that’s the one thing that cost us.”
Palmdale will play Highland on the road on Thursday, while Eastside will play Knight at home on Thursday.