Harborfields finally could breathe a sigh of relief. Shots weren't falling for the Tornadoes in the second half but they could take comfort with Bridgit Ryan at the free-throw line in the last minute.
Ryan went 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final 41 seconds to help Harborfields edge host Kings Park, 56-54, Thursday night in Suffolk League V girls basketball.
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Ryan had 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals. She hit a pair of free throws with 41 seconds left to push the lead to 53-49.
After Emily Stephens (22 points, 15 rebounds) scored on a putback with 22 seconds left, Ryan hit two more foul shots with 21 seconds left to extend the lead to 55-51.
"I want to be at the foul line in that spot," Ryan said. "We just couldn't hit shots in the second half and we needed to find some way to score."
"That's who you want at the foul line in that spot," Harborfields coach Russ Tietjen said of Ryan, who is shooting 85 percent from the free-throw line this season. "If we don't get those foul shots, we probably don't win."
It appeared Harborfields (10-1, 5-0) was going to have a more comfortable victory. The Tornadoes had seven players score in the first half in taking a 42-28 lead. Kristen Kelly hit 1 of 2 free throws with 1:55 left in the third quarter to give Harborfields a 49-36 lead.
But Kings Park (8-3, 4-1) went on a 12-0 run to pull within 49-48 with 3:57 left in the game.
After Harborfields was scoreless for 8:45, Donasja Scott, who transferred from Hempstead in late December, hit a jumper with 1:11 left to make it 51-48.
"She was open and had the confidence to hit it," Ryan said. "That was a huge shot."
Said Kings Park coach Tom Edmundson: "That was a killer. Our girls felt it. That went right though the heart. We still came back after it. I'm proud of them."
Harborfields missed its shots and the Kings Park press forced some turnovers leading to just 14 second-half points for the Tornadoes.
"We didn't lose our composure," Ryan said. "We didn't panic. We definitely have to work on some things if we want to win a championship."