Hurricane uses miraculous late-game push to defeat Lehi 43-42

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OREM — Hurricane used a miraculous late-game scoring barrage to defeat Lehi 43-42 in the 4A girls basketball state semifinals.

Hurricane struggled in the first half, failing to cut into Lehi's lead and shooting only 28 percent from the field. But the scoring drought changed with about two minutes left in tha game.

Out of a timeout, Hurricane head coach Franci Homer drew up a play to get Madi Hirshci a wide open 3-pointer in the left corner. Hirshci sunk the three and brought the Tigers within three.

“My motto is you can’t remember the last shot," Hirshci said. "You missed it, you can’t remember it, you forget it, you’re going to make the next one.”

Hirschi stole the ball the next play and then went down the court for a fastbreak layup. Hurricane fouled Lehi with 47 seconds left and missed the free throw.

The Tigers got the ball to Hirshci who took the ball right up the middle of the court to score another layup and take a 40-39 lead.

“She (Hirshci) was outstanding, she totally picked us up, got us back in the game,” Homer said

Lehi proceeded to miss a layup on the following possession. The Tigers then got the rebound as the Pioneers fouled Kylee Stevens. Stevens, who was 6-of-6 at the line, made her two free throws to give Hurricane a three-point lead.

Just when everyone thought the game was over, Lehi’s Apelila Galeai sunk a deep-range 3-pointer with 15 seconds left.

“I was like, 'ah!' That was beautiful, that shot was amazing,” Homer said.

Hurricane took the ball down the court and missed a shot from the right side, but Hurricane’s Hailey Homer ended up with the ball off of the miss and was fouled with 2.2 seconds left. After missing her first free throw, a timeout was called, and the pressure was on Homer.

But Franci Homer was confident her daughter would be able to convert on the second free throw.

“I just said, she’s good, she’s shot a thousand of these things, she’s good,” Homer said.

Her daughter did make the second free throw, giving the Tigers a one-point lead, and ultimately the win after Lehi inbounded the ball and got a shot off from half court that barely bounced off of the front of the rim.

“I would pick Hailey at the line any day,” Homer said.

Hurricane will face Salem Hills in the 4A state championship game Saturday at 11 a.m. at the UCCU Center.

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