HOT SPRINGS — Basketball fans like a win where there is no doubt.
Saturday morning in the finals of the Class 4A State Basketball Tournament, the Harrison faithful were guardedly optimistic of the outcome of the game.
Harrison never trailed in the game, but the Lady Goblins did let the contest get close.
Clare Barger hit a shot after taking a pass from Alex Hill to give the Lady Goblins a 15-point lead at 50-35.
Over the next seven minutes of action, the Lady Goblins watched as Farmington went on a 14-2 run.
“We made a lot of runs at the end of games this year,” said Farmington coach Brad Johnson when asked about the big run. “That’s what I thought was going to happen. We were going to make that run and come back and win.
“But Harrison stopped it,” he said. “Then they went on a run of their own.”
The Lady Goblins, who didn’t lose a regular season contest, dropped two in regionals after having fourth quarter leads. This was something that was in the back of the team’s mind, but Harrison coach Kristian Williams gathered the team into a huddle and took care of the issue.
“I told them to take a breath and relax,” said Williams. The coach went on to tell her team “it is our game and we were not going to let this happen again and they went out and stopped that.”
The Lady Cardinals had pulled within 52-47 when Harrison started their free throw run.
Over the last 2:33 of the game, the Lady Goblins hit 14-of-18 free throw attempts.
Despite taking a double-digit lead at the 1:33 mark of the game, Harrison was continually fouled by Farmington and visited the free throw line seven more times in the final 1:19 of the game.
Harrison grew its lead to 17 points after a Sydney Shrum free throw, but settled for the 14-point championship win after Farmington hit a last second trey.
This marks the fifth state basketball title for Harrison. The Lady Goblins won titles in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2004.