The Hopkinton High School girls basketball team nearly pulled off an upset in Chelmsford on Friday night, but the hosts rallied in the final seconds to knock out the Hillers, 45-44, in a Division 1 state tournament game.
Senior Brooke Dougherty drove through traffic and hit a clutch layup off an inbounds pass with 36 seconds left to give 25th-seeded Hopkinton a 44-41 lead. At the other end, Kailyn Smith was fouled and hit one-of-two free throws for eighth-seeded Chelmsford.
After Hopkinton missed a free throw with nine seconds left, Chelmsford’s Ellen Angwin got the rebound, dribbled up the court and found Charlotte Buckley open in the corner. Buckley drilled a trey with 2.5 seconds left to giver her team a one-point lead send the home crowd into a frenzy.
After a timeout, Lauren Cho took the inbounds pass, dribbled just over halfcourt and launched a heave at the buzzer that hit the back of the rim but bounced away, ending Hopkinton’s season at 9-13.
Kiki Fossbender was dominant on offense, finishing with 20 points to lead the Hillers. Dougherty contributed eight points and Cho scored nine.
Chelmsford led 11-7 after one quarter and extended its lead to eight points in the second period. Fossbender gave the Hillers a lift when she banked in a shot from beyond halfcourt at the buzzer to get her team within three at 19-16.
Hopkinton took its first lead of the game at 27-26 with 2:39 remaining in the third quarter on a three-point play by Dougherty. The teams entered the final period tied at 29.
Hopkinton trailed 37-35 when Cho hit a corner 3 just before the shot clock expired, then, seconds later, stole a pass and hit a quick layup to give Hopkinton a 40-37 lead with just over four minutes left.
Angwin answered with a pair of free throws to get the margin to one, and with just under three minutes remaining, Smith hit a short jumper to put the hosts back on top by one.
Cho hit a driving layup with two minutes left to give Hopkinton a 42-41 lead, setting up the last-minute excitement.