Heights girls take thriller on last second free throw

WICHITA, Kan. "I just wanted to win. I just wanted to be sub-state champions... man!"

Mar, 1, 2019; Wichita, Kansas, USA; during a Substate Championship game between the Heights Falcons and Maize Eagles ©Kelly Ross

That's the reaction from Heights Sophomore Laniah Randle after she hit the game winning free throw to send the Falcons to the 5A State Tournament. A 45-44 win over Maize, in a game that was a rollercoaster ride to the end.

"I just knew I had to make for the team and win," Randle said after the game.

She felt like she had to make it, because with less than 20 seconds to go, and a 3 point lead, Randle fouled Sydney Holmes on a 3-point shot. Holmes then made all three free throws to tie the game at 44.

"It was really tough on her, because she felt so bad about giving up that foul," said Heights coach Ken Palmer. "We came out of the timeout and I said hey, shake that off. We still have time. She won it for us. I told her to get it back, and she did."

After Heights turned the ball over on the inbound after Maize tied it, Palmer elected to foul. It was the right call, as it allowed one last ditch effort after the missed 1 and 1. Randle pulled down an offensive rebound, and was fouled on her put back attempt. That came at the buzzer. She missed the first, and then drainsed the second for the win.

Heights heads to Emporia next week for the 5A State Tournament.