Timberview sinks Lady Sandies shot at 3-peat with buzzer beater finish
Amarillo High’s Zayla Tinner (32) goes up over three Mansfield Timberview defenders for a bucket during a Region I-5A Tournament final Saturday at the Scurry County Coliseum in Snyder. [Tom Carver/ Press Pass Sports]
Amarillo High, ranked No. 1 in the state and the two-time defending 5A state champion, rallied to tie Mansfield Timberview twice in the fourth quarter of their Region I-5A championship game Saturday afternoon at the Scurry Coliseum in Snyder. With the score tied and Timberview in possession of the ball in the final seconds, the Lady Wolves tapped back out a missed shot, and Stephanie Mosely drained it as time expired to hand the Lady Sandies a 51-49 devastating defeat.
It’s a very hard loss to take for an Amarillo High (36-3) team that’s won two state titles, and leaving an imprint of one of the best Texas Panhandle’s girls basketball teams to ever play.
The Lady Sandies didn’t back down after falling behind by 11 points in the third quarter, and had it not been for an unfortunate bounce, they might be heading back to San Antonio for their third straight state tournament.
“I just think we had to find a way to take a lead and we could never get over that hump,” AHS coach Jeff Williams said. “Timberview played a good basketball game.”
Amarillo High actually did score the first five points of the game, but after freshman Zeryhia Aokuso came off the bench to hit a short jumper for a 16-14 lead late in the first quarter, the Sandies never led again.
Befitting the intensity of a region final, the game was tied at 16 at the end of the first quarter and twice in the second quarter. But Timberview (30-8) scored eight straight points, five of them by Destiny Burton as the Lady Wolves led by as many as eight in the first half en route to a 30-27 halftime lead.
At the beginning of the second half, Timberview’s athletic ability seemed to take over, as the Lady Wolves scored nine of the first 10 points of the third quarter for a 39-28 lead. But as would be expected from a two-time defending state champion, Amarillo High was hardly prepared to go down easily.
The Lady Sandies cut it to 41-35 by the end of the third quarter and twice in the final 4:38 tied it, as senior Zayla Tinner converted a three-point play and with 43 seconds left hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 49.
Timberview’s final possession was a furious sequence in which a miss was tapped around before Mosely finally retreived the ball about 10 feet from the basket. It was a race to beat the buzzer, and Mosely did just that, as her jumper found nothing but net and sent the Lady Wolves to the state tournament.
It also broke a jinx that area schools had over Timberview. Each of the last two seasons Amarillo High defeated the Lady Wolves in the state title game in 2018 and the region title game last year, and in 2017 Canyon beat them in the state championship game.
That was evident again, even though it wasn’t a happy ending for the Lady Sandies. But they hardly made it easy on Timberview.
It was a tough ending to one of the most memorable local careers in recent memory for Tinner. Tinner, the reigning Class 5A Player of the Year, scored the points which gave Amarillo High a chance to win late and led the Lady Sandies with 16 points.
She has the distinction of playing in four straight region championship games along with winning two state champions.
“Two great teams were here going into it and came down to one,” Tinner said. “(Timberview) just did a few more things that we didn’t and they got it at the buzzer.”
Rachel Haase scored 10 points for the Lady Sandies.
Burton had a game-high 17 points and 15 rebounds for Timberview. Desiree Wooten, named the region tournament MVP, had 16 points.
Timberview 16 30 41 51
Amarillo High 16 27 35 49
MT— Destiny Burton 17,Desiree Wooten 16. AHS— Zayla Tinner 16, Rachel Haase 10. Records: Timberview 30-8; AHS 36-3.