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Kierra Kline's 3-pointer lifts Holland past Franklinville in Class C-2 final

JAMESTOWN – Kierra Kline had never hit a shot of that magnitude in her life.

Somehow, on a broken play in the final seconds of the Section VI Class C-2 championship game, the ball ended up in Kline’s hands.

At the top of the key, the eighth-grade guard launched the ball from the left side of the perimeter and watched as it sank through the net with 2.2 seconds left in regulation in Holland’s 60-59 win against Franklinville on Saturday at Jamestown Community College.

“I didn’t expect to shoot it,” said Kline, who scored 12 points for Holland. “It was originally for my sister, to dump it off to Claire (Pikett) for a layup, but it just wasn’t there. I was like, I’ve got to do something, and I got it.”

Kline’s nearly uncontested game-winner capped off a game in which the Dutchmen rallied from an 11-point deficit late in the third quarter, when it trailed 43-34.

Kline’s shot also ended the illustrious career of Franklinville guard Dani Haskell, who scored a game-high 33 points in her final game with the Panthers.

The Canisius College signee finishes her time at Franklinville as Section VI’s all-time leading scorer in girls basketball, and finishes second in state girls basketball history in points scored, with 3,227. Haskell is also one of five finalists for the New York Miss Basketball award.

Claire Pikett led Holland with 16 points, while Kaylin Kline each scored 12 for Holland, which plays C-1 champion Chautauqua Lake at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Jamestown Community College.

Franklinville took a 12-8 lead, but after Ava Linder’s basket cut the lead to two points, Kierra Kline missed a layup with less than two minutes left  that would have tied the game.

Then, with less than a minute left in the first quarter, Linder tied the game at 12-12, but Abby Burrell's putback off Haskell's reverse layup attempt gave Franklinville a 14-12 lead just before the buzzer.

Franklinville took a 14-12 lead into the second quarter and opened its lead to nine points lead on Abby McCoy’s 3-pointer with 3:27 left in the half, and Haskell’s long 3-pointer just before the buzzer opened Franklinville’s lead to 32-21 at halftime.

Then, Franklinville opened its lead to as many as 13 points, but Holland used an 8-0 run to cut Franklinville’s 35-23 lead to 35-31 midway through the third quarter, punctuated by Myla Kline’s layup off a turnover.

Haskell, however, answered with a baseline jumper after the Panthers called a timeout with less than four minutes left, the first of three consecutive baskets for the senior guard that opened Franklinville’s lead back to 10. But back-to-back shots by Linder and Pikett cut Franklinville’s lead to 43-38 in the final minute of the third.

Holland cut Franklinville’s lead to 47-43 a little more than three minutes into the fourth quarter on Kalyn Kline’s 3-pointer, but Holland remained within two points in the final 3 minutes, and Pikett’s free throw with 57 seconds left cut the lead to 58-57.

Haskell’s free throw with 14.4 second’s left wasn’t enough of a cushion, however, as Kline hit the game-winning 3-pointer, and Haskell’s last-second shot, an off-balance jumper inside the baseline, bounced off the backboard and rolled off the rim as the game ended.

"We knew we had to relax, late in the game," Kierra Kline said. "We'd gotten punched in the mouth, so we had to come back strong and not give up."

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