Jordan Rogers admitted she was not playing a great game.
So when the moment came, if there had been more time to ponder the situation, it might have turned out differently for the Franklin High School freshman point guard.
But there was practically no time to think about anything. So Rogers did what came naturally. She took the shot.
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“I just caught it and shot it like I know how to do,” Rogers said, “and like I’ve been taught how to do since I was a little kid.”
The result was a swish, a 3-pointer in the final seconds of the third overtime against Carroll at Mason last Friday night. It gave the Wildcats a 53-51 victory and their first Division II district girls basketball championship.
And it gave Rogers a special place in Franklin history.
“It was the best feeling I’ve ever felt before,” she said. “Just knowing that that’s the shot that counted after all the 3s that I had tried to shoot that game and missed, all the missed shots that I had taken.”
Rogers and the 19-6 Wildcats will head into uncharted territory Tuesday when they face Bellbrook in a 6:15 p.m. regional semifinal at Springfield.
Franklin coach John Rossi said his Wildcats showed some mental toughness beating Carroll in a late-night district game that lasted 44 minutes.
Rogers’ game-winning shot came after a missed free throw by the Patriots. Rossi chose not to call a timeout.
“Skyler (Weir) got the rebound and threw it to Layne (Ferrell), and I came down to what my dad calls ‘my spot’ on the 3-point line,” said Rogers, noting a spot on the right wing. “Layne went to drive and she had three people on her, so she kicked it to me. I had an open shot.
“I was happy that Layne trusted me enough to take the shot at the end of the game, but at the same time, I knew I wasn’t having the best game. I just let all that go and had a short memory and just shot the ball.”
Rossi said he was expecting either Weir or Rogers to take the last shot because he was sure Carroll would be all over Ferrell, the Southwestern Buckeye League’s leading scorer.
Why didn’t he call a timeout to give his players a chance to catch their breath and set up a final play?
“I did call a timeout in the second overtime with about eight seconds left, and Layne shot a runner and it went in,” Rossi said. “I felt horrible, to tell you the truth. We were able to get another shot there, and we couldn’t convert.”
Ferrell finished with 23 points, Emily Newton had 10, Brooke Stover scored 8, and Rogers and Weir both marked 6.
Rogers is the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer with a 7.4 average. She’s been an impact freshman from Day 1 at Franklin and said her summer conversations with Ferrell were an important part of her development.
“She believed in me. She knew what I was capable of,” Rogers said. “Just the fact that she had that much confidence in me gave me confidence in myself to come in here and do what I know how to do.”
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