Lady Bears rally past Rehoboth to secure first state tournament win in eight years

With 10 seconds left in the game, Estancia High School’s Lainey Fastnacht sank a long-range jump shot to lift the No. 5 Lady Bears to a 36-35 come-from-behind victory over the visiting Rehoboth Christian Lady Lynx in the March 8 first round of the Class 2A girls state basketball tournament.

It was the Lady Bears’ first state basketball victory since 2011.

“I was so excited for myself and my team because this is everything we’ve worked for,” Fastnacht said, adding, “I wanted to cry, the adrenalin was crazy.”

After bursting out of the gate with an 8-0 run and leading the entire first half, the Lady Bears faltered in the third quarter and fell behind No. 12 Rehoboth.

Estancia head coach Mike Trujillo repeatedly impressed upon his players to stay poised—even reminding them to breath—and the Lady Bears slowly grinded away at the deficit.

The Lady Lynx outscored Estancia 20-7 in the third, and mounted a 10-0 run that started at the end of the stanza and carried into the fourth quarter to leap ahead 31-24.

Kaitlyn Calhoon sank a pair of baskets to cut the deficit to 4 points with just under 3 minutes remaining in the game.

Priscilla Padilla hit a layup with just over 2 minutes left to make the score 33-31.

With 1:26 remaining, Mariah Aday nailed a 3-point shot—her first 3 in eight attempts—to cut Rehoboth’s lead to 35-34.

“Finally! I knew that one was in, but that wasn’t it, it was her shot that did it,” Aday said, nodding to Fastnacht.

“But every point counts,” Fastnacht said.

Fastnacht scored a game-high 14 points, Calhoon chipped in 6, and Aday added 5.

After Fastnacht’s go-ahead basket, Rehoboth still had one last possession, but Estancia stole the ball and launched a long shot that caromed off the back of the rim and into Jaimey Fastnacht’s hands just before the buzzer.

“I grabbed that rebound and said, ‘This is my ball,’ and I saw everyone screaming with joy, it was crazy,” Jaimey Fastnacht said.

“It’s a great feeling that we could come back and finished like that,” Trujillo said. “They never stopped playing, they finished with heart, and that’s what it takes.”

With the win, the Lady Bears (22-5) advance to the state quarterfinals to take on the No. 4 Dulce Lady Hawks (22-6), March 12 at Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

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