Saturday’s Region 2D championship game ranks at the top of the list for the VHSL Hall of Famer.
In a game that saw nine lead changes and nine ties, senior guard Brook Porter broke the final tie with a 30-foot, buzzer-beating, 3-point shot to give Central a dramatic 49-46 win over Ridgeview at the Virginia-Wise Prior Convocation Center.
“It was one of the best high school games I’ve ever been a part of,” Dotson said. “Both teams played their hearts out. We’ll take the win, but it’s a shame in a game like that that someone has to lose.”
BEATING THE BUZZER
Porter’s dramatic shot came after she stole the ball on the other end of the floor and called time out.
Central’s Olivia Mullins passed the ball to Porter on the right wing, and she took a shot from 30 feet away. The shot was on target, hitting nothing but the bottom of the net and sealing the win for the two-time defending state champion Lady Warriors.
“I knew there was two seconds left and I knew I had to get it off quick. I just tried to get the best shot I could, and it just happened to go in, I guess,” Porter said. “When I shot it, I knew it was going in, I really did. I was already like, ‘Oh my gosh.’
“It was crazy,” she added. “It was good to be able to make a shot like that. It was awesome.”
Porter’s game-winning trey gave her 10 points in the contest.Mullins led Central (23-4) with 21.
She said she had faith Porter could make the shot.
“Right when I saw her open, I said, ‘That’s who I’m getting the ball to.’ When the shot went up, I held my breath. And I knew it was going in,” Mullins said. “I’m so happy she took the shot.”
Ridgeview coach Donnie Frazier said the shot was a heartbreaker for his team.
“That’s two times in the last two years that we’ve been beaten or tied on a last-second shot near midcourt,” Frazier noted. “Sometimes, it’s better to be lucky than skilled, I guess. She’s a skilled player, but sometimes luck seems to be on their side more than it is ours.
“It’s a tough way to lose, but at the same time they know we’re here.
“We had our opportunities and we squandered them there at the end,” he added. “We didn’t get a shot off and we should have. It’s a tough way to lose for our seniors, but it ain’t over.”
Bailey Frazier led Ridgeview with 19 points, including nine on a trio of 3-pointers in the final quarter to keep Ridgeview alive.
STATE TOURNAMENT UP NEXT
As regional finalists, Central and Ridgeview (20-8) will play in the VHSL Class 2 quarterfinals on Friday.
The Lady Warriors will host the Region C runner-up at the Prior Convocation Center. Ridgeview will travel to face the Region C champion.