GARDEN VALLEY, Idaho — A high school basketball player from Idaho heaved a three-quarter-court, last-second shot to help her team beat a rival at the buzzer.
Senior Jennifer Walter of Cascade High School took an inbounds pass at her own team's foul line, wound up and threw the ball toward the basket — and made a perfect swish.
Last Friday's game between Cascade and Garden Valley High School had been tied at 41, with less than three seconds on the game clock.
Walter's 3-point shot gave Cascade the 44-41 win and boosted its record to 3-1.
“I do remember staring at the basket and just throwing it as hard as I could,” Walter told The Associated Press Tuesday. “It wasn't our best game, and I was having a little frustration. A little frustration came out when I threw it, so there was a little more power.”
A video shown on KTVB-TV in Boise shows how Walter's team, nicknamed the Ramblers, had the ball deep in its own half of the court after Garden Valley had thrown the ball away on a fast break.
There were 2.4 seconds to play.
Walter said her team has a set play to help find an open player for such an inbounds pass. But that it didn't work on this occasion, so she simply made a jab step and moved into the open, calling for the attention of teammate Nicole Klient, the inbounds passer.
“I just ran up to get the ball myself,” Walter said. “In my mind, I was thinking, 'Just give it to me, I want to throw it.'”
She took the pass, dribbled twice and threw the ball on the run as if it were a javelin, over a Garden Valley defender's outstretched right hand.
Walter figures her experience as a volleyball player might have boosted her upper body strength, preparing her for just such a situation.
In the ensuing chaos following the basket, Walter was mobbed by her joyful teammates near the spot where she threw the ball.
Garden Valley players froze in disbelief.
Walter said her team occasionally fires off half-court shots at the conclusion of some practice sessions — as a freshman, she remembers winning a sports drink for making a basket then — but those are easy in comparison with her winning basket Friday night.
Then, the ball traveled an estimated 70 feet in the air.
Could she duplicate her feat?
“I don't know,” she concedes. “It was a lucky shot.”
Information from: KTVB-TV, http://www.ktvb.com/