TABOR, Iowa — When Macy Williams buried two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining in the Corner Conference championship game, she did the same with years of tournament futility for her school.
Fremont-Mills had never won the title. It hadn't even been in the final game since 1967.
The Knights (13-2) rewrote school history Friday by handing Class 1-A No. 3 Stanton (15-1) its first loss of the season in a 39-38 thriller. The foul shots by Williams were the game's final points.
The previously unbeaten Viqueens threw the ball out of bounds from the baseline following the second free throw. They were later whistled for traveling after F-M missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Knight coach Rod Williams, Macy's father, chucked the game ball into the home crowd after the final buzzer. His team lost to Stanton 55-52 in a regular-season contest earlier this month.
“I'm probably the happiest guy in the world right now — at least in the state of Iowa,” he said. “We were on a mission for this. The girls were really focused.”
F-M led by seven early in the second half before Stanton moved in front with an 11-0 run. A basket by Heidi Vanderholm late in the third quarter gave the Viqueens a 33-29 advantage.
Macy Williams hit a 3-pointer to open the final period. Then Taryn Williams answered a Sara Sederberg putback with another 3 to tie the game at 35 with 3:45 remaining in regulation.
The Knights took the lead on a drive by Macy Williams. But Stanton's Moriah Kammerer drilled a 3 while being fouled to put Stanton on top again with 19.2 seconds to go. She missed the ensuing free throw, and Williams was bumped on a drive to the hoop at the other end with time winding down.
She canned the first foul shot to tie the score, and then the second after a timeout. Stanton, which survived a last-second attempt by Williams in the first meeting, never got another shot off.
“I'm not going to lie, it was a little stressful,” Macy Williams said. “We kept telling each other that we had it. We still had a chance. Every close game, we say 'it's not over' about 10 times.
“I'm so proud of our girls. (Stanton is) an awesome team. To get a win against them after so many losses against them, it's a big deal for us. I couldn't ask for a better team to make history with.”
She finished the game with 13 points. Taryn Williams led the Knights with 15.
Sederberg hit four 3-pointers and had 14 points to pace Stanton, which couldn't get shots for leading scorer Carmen Subbert late. She was limited to six points, 15.5 below her average, and got only one field-goal attempt in the final 13 minutes of play. She had only eight shots all night.
“We were one play short tonight,” Viqueen coach Bruce Subbert, Carmen's father, said when referring to the possession in which F-M took the lead for good. “We knew exactly what they were going to do at the other end. ... I don't know if all the fans knew it, but we knew it.”
Stanton couldn't stop Macy Williams on the final drive of their second nailbiter this month.
“I guess this is what you expect,” Rod Williams said. “That's the way it happened last time, too.”
It could happen again. The teams meet again in Stanton on Jan. 31. The Viqueens still have a one-game lead on the Knights in the race for the regular-season conference title.
And they may end up in the same regional bracket when postseason pairings are released Monday.
Rod Williams said it would be must-see action whether it happens once or twice more.
“I'd pay $20 a ticket to come and watch us, if I didn't get in free,” he said.
Stanton (15-1) ....................................................... 12 7 14 5—38
At Fremont-Mills (13-2) .......................................... 11 10 8 10—39
S: Sederberg 5-10 0-0 14, Elwood 3-4 1-6 7, Subbert 3-8 0-1 6, DeKay 0-3 2-2 2, Kammerer 2-10 0-1 5, Vanderholm 1-8 2-2 4. Totals 14-43 5-12 38.
FM: T. Williams 4-15 4-5 15, Hurley 2-9 0-1 4, M. Williams 4-9 2-2 13, An. McClary 2-10 0-2 4, As. McClary 1-6 1-2 3, Langfelt 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 13-49 7-12 39.
3-point goals: S 5-13 (Sederberg 4-7, Subbert 0-4, Kammerer 1-1, Vanderholm 0-1), FM 6-7 (T. Williams 3-3, M. Williams 3-4). Rebounds: S 31 (DeKay 8), FM 38 (An. McClary 13). Assists: S 7 (Elwood, Kammerer 2), FM 4 (T. Williams, M. Williams 2). Turnovers: S 13, FM 11. Total fouls: S 11, FM 7. Fouled out: None.
East Mills 60, CB Heartland Christian 58, OT
After dishing out a game-high eight assists in regulation, Devin Laughlin scored six of her team's seven points in overtime to give East Mills a victory in the third-place game.
Council Bluffs Heartland Christian had three shots, including a pair of 3-point attempts by Steffi Cunard, in the closing seconds of the extra period to tie or win the game, but couldn't get one to fall.
Samantha Opal paced the Wolverines (8-8), who avenged an earlier loss to the Eagles, with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Devin and Joni Laughlin each tallied 17 points for East Mills.
Molly Cunard led Heartland Christian with 20 points. Steffi Cunard finished with 18.
Heartland Christian (11-6) .......................................... 17 14 10 12 5—58
East Mills (8-8) ............................................................ 15 14 15 11 7—60
HC: Sarah Hardcastle 4, Katie Fouts 6, Kendra Myers 6, Steffi Cunard 18, Molly Cunard 20, Kelsey Drake 4.
EM: Joni Laughlin 17, Jessica Doyle 3, Devin Laughlin 17, Brianna Weak 2, Samantha Opal 21.