Mike Moulchin had a heavy heart while guiding his Clark girls basketball team Thursday.
Bobbi Floyd’s runner in the lane in the closing seconds and a few narrow escapes helped lift Moulchin’s spirits.
Floyd scored the go-ahead basket with 12.3 seconds to play, and the Chargers hung on for a 41-40 win at Faith Lutheran in a battle for first place in the Division I-A Sunset League.
“Wow, a great way to end the day after the way it started,” said Moulchin, whose uncle, Tom Cilino, died early Thursday in hospice care at age 85. “It was a tough day. My kids came through for me. They knew it, and they were there for me.”
Clark (10-6, 4-0 Sunset) appeared to be on its way to victory after Floyd’s steal and transition layup with 1:26 to play gave the Chargers a 39-35 lead.
But Faith Lutheran (12-9, 3-1) took advantage of a second-chance basket and two consecutive Clark turnovers to score five points in a 13-second span and take a 40-39 lead on Kim Munro’s layup with 57 seconds left.
After another Clark miscue, the Crusaders missed two shots before Morgan Hill was fouled on a rebound. Hill missed the front end of a one-and-one with 26.1 seconds to go, setting the stage for Floyd.
Floyd, who had a double-double midway through the second quarter, slashed into the lane from the right side, rose above two defenders on the run and hit a 12-foot shot to give the Chargers the lead.
“She can go anywhere with the ball, anywhere she wants to go,” Moulchin said. “We were looking for Bobbi.”
Clark, though, mistakenly fouled Faith Lutheran’s Dani Tharaldson with 4.4 seconds left. Tharaldson missed the front end of a one-and-one.
The Chargers’ Shyanne Carter-Wade rebounded the miss and was fouled with 3.4 seconds to go. She also missed her lone free throw, and the Crusaders rebounded, but their long upcourt pass was broken up by Johnice Bland to end the game.
“The girls hung together, and they showed they can be a championship team,” Moulchin said. “It wasn’t pretty down the stretch, but they found a way to finish.”
Floyd finished with 23 points and 17 rebounds to pace Clark, which had 29 turnovers.
Hill had 15 points and 12 rebounds and Tharaldson 14 points for Faith Lutheran, which got 11 rebounds from Haley Vinson. The Crusaders made just 16 of 71 shots from the field.
“Faith Lutheran played a fabulous game,” Moulchin said. “They’re a great team.”