DeWitt As Marisa Romeo's shot flew toward the basket at the overtime buzzer of Thursday night's Section III Class AA quarterfinal, the Liverpool girls basketball was hoping that past ghosts of various kinds would not rise up and haunt them again.
Shannon Seymour said she thought back to last year's AA quarterfinals, when Romeo's last-second basket had ended the Warriors' season in a 47-46 defeat.
"My heart sank through my stomach," she said. "I thought it was going in."
Head coach Mike Olley said he considered a different, more recent event - Liverpool's 86-76, quadruple-overtime defeat to West Genesee on Jan. 12, a game that only went that far because WG's Emily Tripodi hit a 3-pointer as time ran out in the third OT.
As they all watched, Romeo's shot, from just behind the 3-point line, hit the glass and the rim, rattled around the hoop twice, went halfway down - but did not go through.
By that tiny margin, no. 5 seed Liverpool had prevailed, 40-39, over no. 4 seed CBA, and had earned a trip to next week's Class AA semifinal round.
"We've been in some really close games this season and we had trouble closing them out," said Olley. "I'm beyond proud of the way the girls responded here."
What they had to answer to was a situation that appeared dire. A steal by Michelle Wiese, and basket by Julie Cuomo, had put CBA up 36-30 with barely 90 seconds left in regulation. To that point in the fourth quarter, the Warriors had only scored one field goal.
Then Seymour saved her team's season. She hit a line-drive 3-pointer with 1:13 left, cutting the margin to 36-33. Then, after Liverpool forced a turnover, Seymour flashed open again beyond the arc and, with 42 seconds to play, drained another 3, and the Warriors had pulled even, 36-36.