When Tori Harris fouled out with 2:03 remaining in the fourth quarter on Thursday, anxious glances shot up and down the Half Hollow Hills West bench.
The standout guard skied for a rebound of her own miss but was called for her fifth foul. So with Hills West leading host Bay Shore by six points and two minutes remaining, the Colts were without their star.
“Yeah, that was scary,” forward Samantha Hinke said. “We all had to pull together because she is one of our very good players. We had to step up and get it done.”
Hinke, Channiah Baker, Joi Wilson, Jada Cooper, Kayla Robertson and the rest of the Colts succeeded.
Harris’ 29 points and Hinke’s 22 helped Hills West stave off a persistent Marauders team in a 77-75 non-league win. Harris, sister of Pistons forward Tobias Harris, added 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals.
The Bay Shore attack was fueled by dynamic guard Victoria Pearce, whose quickness off the dribble and range from the perimeter resulted in 39 points. She had 24 points in the first half, which ended with Bay Shore ahead 40-33.
“She was really good,” Harris said. “Coach had to tell us to keep looking for her because her jump shot was on. She played a great game.”
The advantage shifted during the third quarter. Hinke had 15 points as Hills West (3-0) outscored Bay Shore 30-20 and took a 63-60 lead.
The Colts took their biggest lead at 73-64 and still led 76-68 when Bay Shore (2-1) began its run.
Maje Barry’s jumper with 35 seconds left cut the Marauders’ deficit to 76-73, and Lanasia Drain’s putback after a steal seconds later brought Bay Shore within one. The comeback fell just short as a three-quarter-court heave went left of the basket at the buzzer.
Harris said her final infraction “wasn’t a smart foul” and that she’s “still learning parts of expanding my game.” But even without her, the Colts protected a slim lead against a tough opponent.