By Keith Lair, Staff Writer
VENTURA – Priscilla Hidalgo stepped up when she was absolutely needed.
The senior guard took a charge call and then drove the length of the floor to score a layup with 0.3 seconds remaining to give
St. Paul High School a 41-39 victory at St. Bonaventure in the CIF-Southern Section Division 4A basketball semifinals on Saturday.
“At the beginning of the game, the plan was to drive and dish,” Hidalgo said. “I drove and did not see anybody there. I looked at the clock and said, `I have to go up strong.’
“I was looking at the shot and said, `Please go in.’ I heard the whistle, I heard cheering, I closed my eyes and crossed my fingers.”
The top-seeded Swordsmen, tied at 39, were called for an illegal pick at the top of the key with 35.6 seconds to play. McKenna Hill, the fourth-seeded Seraphs’ top player, dribbled 35 feet away as the clock dwindled to 12 seconds on the game clock and 7 seconds on the 30-second clock. She drove to the basket, but Hidalgo stepped in front of her just in time to draw a charging foul with 10.7 seconds remaining.
“The moment started from the charge,” Hidalgo said.
The Swordsmen inbounded the ball to Hidalgo, who looked over at coach Robert Miller. He motioned for her to go.
“That’s what we wanted,” Miller said. “We didn’t want to call timeout. We thought to just get her the ball. She’s going to get bumped in the open court, maybe get lucky that way, or she’s going to get her shot.