Junior point guard Candice Williams stepped to the line and cut the lead in half with 14 seconds to play and Jade Davis made a contested lay-up 10 seconds later to send the contest to overtime in the Macon Centerplex.
After dominating Southwest Atlanta Christian 10-4 in the bonus period, the Lady Knights and their veteran roster hoisted a GHSA State Championship Trophy for the first time in program history.
“Being a champion is a great feeling and this is by far the best team I have ever coached,” said St. Francis Lady Knight basketball coach Aisha Kennedy.
“This group of girls is special and they will always have a special place in my heart, they never gave up and played every game like it was their last. This whole season was truly a team effort.”
St. Francis’ last-second heroics were part of a second -half surge in itself, trailing by as many as 11 points early in the third quarter.
Davis, who scored just four points in the game, hit the biggest bucket of the game but a host of her teammates came up big at other points in the 62-56 win.
Senior Nettie Brown scored a team-high 22 points, Brown and Williams went a combined 16-for-17 from the free throw line and the Knights’ high-pressure defense limited SWAC to just 13 points in the second half and four in overtime.
“The final minutes of regulation I was thinking to myself, ‘We can win this if we can just make them turn it over,’ and we did just that,” said Kennedy. “Our defense was the key for us all year.
“I re-watched the game twice just to make sure I didn’t dream that it happened the way it did.”
St. Francis finished the season 24-8 overall and on an 11-game winning streak