CHAMPAIGN — From just to the right of the hoop, Addie Fyke laid on the floor in dismay. She had to process the reality that her layup just above and to the right of the rim, bounced off the glass and fell safely through the net as the fourth-quarter buzzer sounded in the background.
Fyke, a St. Teresa senior, received an inbound pass 4.4 seconds before that moment, beat her defender and sprinted down the right sideline, saw an ever-so-brief opening and went up for the layup, it fell and the Bulldogs walked out of St. Thomas More with a one-point, 45-44, win on Monday in a Class 1A sectional semifinal game against Lexington.
Fyke was shocked. It was her first career buzzer-beating, game-winning shot.
“I didn’t believe it," Fyke said. "I was like, ‘No way.’ I kind of started tearing up a little bit."
It was all very real when she stood up and was mobbed by her teammates in celebration.
The Bulldogs trailed by one point against Lexington before the layup, and Fyke felt the pressure after Lexington's Jayden Standish hit a mid-range shot 16 seconds earlier to give her team a one-point lead and what was nearly a victory.
In the huddle, St. Teresa head coach Andrea Dorsey, who returned to the team after missing the last five games because of the birth of her third child, reminded her team that 4.4 seconds was still plenty of time to make a play. Standout junior Addison Newbon had fouled out, and Fyke stepped up.
"At first I was feeling down on myself because I let that girl hit that shot in my face, pretty much," Fyke said. "I came down the bench with my head down and coach said, 'You need to get your head up right now,' then she drew up the play.
"I saw the four seconds (on the clock) and I was like, 'I can't pass. I'm just going to take it to the hole.'"
Fyke finished with 12 points, and six of them came in the fourth quarter. During the timeout, Dorsey knew the play was going to be designed to free Fyke up on a screen, letting her attack.
“We have a last-second play that would hopefully clear a path for her," Dorsey said. "When it came down to it, you still have to have a kid who has a mentality of: I have to go to the basket. Bottom line, that’s what she did. We didn’t really run what we had. She just got the ball and she went to the basket.
“When you’ve got a kid like that who is willing to put their head down and go full court to the basket, then you’re giving yourself a chance, basically."
Neither team led by more than five points all game, and the Bulldogs walked out of the locker room with a collective sigh of relief having known it wasn't their best game. Newbon led the team with 14 points and 10 rebounds, but fouled out with 2:08 left.
She was distraught walking off the floor after picking up an offensive foul that could have ended her junior year. Thanks to Fyke, it didn't.
“I was upset that I fouled out and there was nothing I could do at that point," Newbon said. "I made sure to lift my teammates up and coach made sure she found me and brought me back to the side of the bench the team was on. I just told Addie, ‘You got this. You got this.’ I was telling everybody, ‘Let everything go now for those four seconds,’ and she got it done. It still feels unreal.
“I stood up, it went in and the buzzer sounded and everyone was screaming and I took off for her. All I could think was how happy I am now."
Fyke walked out of the locker room still wearing her white No. 23 jersey. She dazzled in the regional championship game against Mount Pulaski with a career-high 25 points and her heroics on Monday pulled the team through a game that wasn't their best.
"Wow," Fyke said through an exhale.
“It’s pretty awesome," she added.
PHOTOS: St. Teresa wins regional championship
Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25
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