The Mustang sophomore’s 3-pointer hit the rim, the backboard and hung tantalizingly high above the cylinder before falling through to help Monmouth stun unbeaten Boothbay 42-41.

“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, if I miss this, we lose and if I make it, we win at the buzzer,'” Anderson said. “My adrenalin was going.”

Monmouth began the play with .06 seconds left on the clock. Anderson got a low inbounds pass from Abbey Allen. Anderson grabbed control of the ball and quickly turned around for a less-than-last-second heave.

For a moment, it didn’t look as though it might drop. It clanged around the hoop for a seemingly endless dramatic moment before suddenly finding a direct route through the net. Stunned looks filled the gymnasium and fans rushed the court to celebrate the victory.

“Everybody was running at me, and I was crying,” Anderson said. “I just started screaming.”

It was a significant win for the Mustangs, who had just lost to Mountain Valley, the top-seeded team in Class B South, on Saturday. Boothbay is the top-ranked team in Class C South and the victory bumped the Mustangs up to second.

“That’s two games in a row against two tough teams where we never stopped playing,” said Monmouth coach Scott Wing, whose team fell behind against the Falcons but came up short in the fourth-quarter rally. “That’s a testament to the girls and the heart they have.”

Anderson and Tia Day each finished with 13 for Monmouth (10-2). Sidney Wilson added eight, including a tying basket in the final minute. Boothbay (11-1) got 21 from Page Brown and eight from Faith Blethen.

“They’re a tough team, a very good team,” Wing said about Boothbay. “They have a 6-1 guard (Blethen) and a good power player (Brown) inside. That makes it tough. They have a couple of girls that can shoot the ball. We had to make sure they didn’t let those girls open. We did a good job with that, but Brown hurt us quite a bit.”

Boothbay was up by 10 in the first quarter and had the lead up to 12 early in the third. Monmouth battled its way back with another fourth-quarter comeback. Wilson, Day and Anderson all had five points in the fourth as Monmouth outscored Boothbay 13-4 in the final three-plus minutes.

“We really got our heads in the game,” Anderson said. “This is a really big game. Boothbay was undefeated. We wanted to come in here strong and finish it. We just got our heads in the game. We realized that it might not go our way but we still had to play our game and get through it.”

The Seahawks had taken the lead with four seconds left. Wilson had tied the game for Monmouth with a drive with 24 seconds remaining. Boothbay broke the tie when Blethen made a nice pass to an open Sydney Meader under the basket. Monmouth rushed the ball up court and had it knocked out of bounds with :06 seconds left.

Monmouth took a timeout and set up the play. Since Day was expected to be covered, and West was likely to be guarded inside, Anderson was chosen for the last shot.

“I said that the person that was going to be open was Hannah Anderson,” Wing said. “I wanted Haley (West) to set a screen for her because she was going to be the one. They were going to stay with Haley so she couldn’t get the ball in the post. So Hannah had the best chance to get a shot off.”

Allen’s inbounds pass was low and it nearly bounced away from Anderson. She collected it and turned around for the shot.

“I think when she threw it low, it made my defensive player go down low with me and that gave me more momentum to shoot it,” Anderson said.

It took less than .06 seconds for Boothbay fans to claim Monmouth had longer than the .06 seconds to get the winning shot off.

“It could have been but you know what, there were all sorts of breaks during the game that didn’t go one person’s way or the other,” Wing said. “I’d probably be upset too if I was on the other side.”

Boothbay built a 14-4 lead after the first quarter. The Seahawks hit five of its first eight shots while Monmouth missed its first six. Brown and Blethen created a tough combination for a smaller Mustang team. The two combined for nine points in the first quarter.

The Mustangs closed the gap in the second. Led by Anderson’s eight points, Monmouth got within 20-15 late in the half. Anderson converted a three-point play. Monmouth had a chance to get closer but a rebound by Brown bumped the lead back to 23-15 at the half.

Boothbay maintained the lead in the third and were up 27-15 early in the quarter. A Day 3 and a late drive helped get Monmouth within 31-24 entering the fourth.

Wilson hit a 3 to get Monmouth within 35-29 with 5:50 left. Brown sank a pair of free throws and Day scored on a drive to make it 37-31. Hannah Morley put back a rebound with 2:47 left for a 39-31 lead. That was Boothbay’s last field goal until the Meader basket in the final seconds.

Day hit a 3 and then Maddie Amero, who also had five steals, finished a nice Day pass to make it 39-36. West, who had six rebounds, hit a free throw to close the gap to 39-37.

Missed free throws and turnovers plagued Boothbay down the stretch. After a Monmouth rebound on a free throw, the Mustangs had the chance to tie it. Wilson took the ball through traffic for the equalizer with 24 seconds left.

“I said, ‘As soon as you get an opening to penetrate, penetrate to the basket, try to draw some contact or try to finish it if you can,'” Wing said.

After a near-comeback Saturday against the Falcons, finishing the rally against the Seahawks was a giant leap for the Mustangs.

“That’s a big thing, to prove that we can play with anybody,” Wing said. “The other night was a Class B team. So we won’t have to see them again. This is a Class C team, and is the top seed. I’m sure we can play with them. I’d rather not play them again for awhile. Maybe not until a Saturday in February.”

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