When Meghan Doogan uncorked the 3-pointer from the left corner, she thought it might be off the mark.
“I was scared it wasn’t going to go in, because I got a little touch on the arm,” the Concord senior said. “I was afraid. I thought it might be off, but it went in.”
The ball swished through the net with 59 seconds to play, giving the Raiders a critical boost after Hodgson cut a 14-point deficit to one. Sixth-ranked Concord went on to hold off the seventh-ranked Silver Eagles for a 50-46 road victory on Saturday.
Doogan’s 3-ball came 13 seconds after Hodgson’s Brianna Flemings hit a 3-pointer to pull the Silver Eagles within 44-43.
“I knew that she hit that 3, so we were close to tied up,” Doogan said. “I was wide open, so I decided to shoot. My feet were set and I had a great pass from my point guard, so it was open.”
Hodgson’s Shechinahglory Tucker scored on an offensive rebound to cut Concord’s lead to 47-45 with 41.8 seconds to go. The Raiders’ Holly Panchak hit a free throw to make it 48-45 with 14.8 seconds left.
Hodgson called timeout with 6.3 seconds remaining to set up a final play. Needing a 3-pointer to tie, the Silver Eagles unexpectedly dumped the ball inside. Dynasty Williams was fouled and hit the second of two free throws with 2.1 seconds left to pull her team within 48-46. The Raiders’ Taylor Azer splashed a couple of foul shots for the final points.
“We ran the play,” Hodgson coach Chris Jones said of the final sequence. “We just got a little caught up in the double team on the outside. One more ball reversal, and that might have given us the open look we were looking for.”
Both teams struggled mightily in the first half, with Hodgson leading 5-3 after one quarter and Concord ahead 17-14 at the half. But the Raiders (11-4) got it together early in the third quarter, ripping off a 14-3 run. Doogan hit a couple of 3-pointers, and Panchak scored on an offensive rebound to open a 31-17 lead with 3:40 left in the quarter.
“We just focused a little better, got the anxiety out, calmed down,” Concord coach John Armstrong said. “We stopped worrying about who we were playing, where we were playing at, and just played the game.”
The Silver Eagles (14-2) rallied behind long-range shooting, hitting four 3-pointers in the fourth. But Doogan answered with a bomb of her own to settle the Raiders.
“We got a little nervous, but we’ve all been together for the past four years,” Doogan said. “We’ve had times where we haven’t won close games, and I think we’re learning to win these close games.”
Doogan finished with 16 points, while Azer added 13 and Panchak cleaned the glass with seven points and 15 rebounds. The Silver Eagles got 13 points from Flemings and 12 from Williams.