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Perfectly executed play propels Parkway Christian to finals PHOTO GALLERY

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WATERFORD >> Trailing by one point with seven seconds remaining, Parkway Christian executed the play it spent the week practicing to perfection with its season squarely on the line.

Facing Inter-City Baptist in a Class D girls basketball regional semifinal Tuesday at Our Lady of the Lakes, the Eagles inbounded the ball from beneath their own basket and connected on four crisscrossing passes that left Taylor Hunt alone in the lane for an uncontested game-winning layup with two seconds to go.

Inter-City Baptist’s 3-point heave at the final buzzer kicked off the rim, sending Parkway Christian on to Thursday’s regional final with a 50-49 come-from-behind win.

On the Eagles’ winning basket, all five players on the floor touched the ball in a remarkable play that created a wide-open opportunity for Hunt to finish.

“Out of the timeout, we had two plays called, depending on where they were positioned on the floor,” Parkway Christian coach Tom Kocik said. “That particular play we had practiced specifically having seen (Inter-City Baptist) use that defense before. Normally, it’s Lauren Turner that takes the shot, but she made the right move. She had the opening, but she dropped it down to Taylor. We had been practicing that the past two or three days. They came out and we executed perfectly.”

Just as they did on the final possession, the Eagles (17-6) spread the ball around, with five players scoring between eight and 12 points to create a balance that was tough to stop in the second half.

Inter-City Baptist held a sizable 29-16 lead with 5:45 left in the third quarter, but stalled considerably as Parkway Christian pieced together a 19-4 scoring run to seize a 35-33 advantage to begin the fourth.

The lead toggled back and forth several more times, but even when the Chargers held a 49-44 lead with 90 seconds remaining, they ultimately couldn’t hold it.

“The girls have always been mentally tough. This is not the first time we’ve been down like that,” Kocik said. “Our girls are just tough. We talked about leaving it all on the floor, for the seniors, and walking away with no regrets … That’s been the mentality. One play at a time. We knew there would be momentum swings and I actually felt pretty confident going into halftime. As poorly as we played in the first half, I knew they had more in them.”

Parkway Christian scored just 11 first-half points, trailing 22-11 at the break.

For the Eagles, Talli Guido recorded a team-high 12 points, Hunt and Erica Mick totaled 10 points apiece, Turner added nine and Maddy Schook had eight.

“We share the ball well. All of them can shoot and all of them can drive,” Kocik said. “It’s always been a balanced attack.”

Inter-City Baptist’s season concluded with an 18-6 record. Mikayla Thompson led the way with 23 points and Ruthie Franklin chipped in with eight points Tuesday.

PC will meet the host Lakers after they advanced with a 56-18 win over Southfield Christian.

Last Updated: 3/7/2017 10:14:49 PM EST