[For The Times | Jimmy McCorkle]
Scott fired up her shot over the strong defense of Kewanee Wethersfield's Gabi Robinson and it came up well short of the rim – but Hatteberg was in perfect position to recognize that and saved the season by catching the airball underneath and laying it in at the buzzer, giving Newark a thrilling 57-56 victory over the Flying Geese.
Hatteberg had just two baskets in six tries from the field — J.J. Mitchell netted 17 points and Evie Martin 15 to lead the club in scoring — but the last of those makes was enough to put the Lady Norsemen into Thursday's 7 p.m. sectional championship game against Amboy. The Lady Clippers (26-2) defeated Aurora Christian, 51-35, in Monday's late semi.
"This is definitely the best basketball memory I've had so far," said Hatteberg. "My job was to be the extra person and help screen to get people open, so I wasn't expecting the ball to come to me. I could tell from my angle that (Scott's shot) was going to be short, so I just caught it and shot it. At first, I wasn't sure it was going to go in, that it would be short, but when it went in, I thought it had only tied the game, so I didn't know what was going on until they told me the game was over. I couldn't believe it."
"It was a good pass," Newark coach Barb Scott joked about her daughter's airball. "Kaitlyn made the game-winning shot and I'm so proud of her. This will be a great confidence booster for her as a sophomore. The entire team is thrilled that it was she who made the winning shot and we're all very happy for her. That's a perfect example of you have to be ready because you never know when it's going to be your moment.
"One of the things that's made us so good this season is that we're balanced and anyone can step up and score, and Kaitlyn proved that at the end tonight ... This was a complete team effort. They got a lead, we took it back. I'm so proud of the effort to never give up, all the way to the end. These girls believed they could do it and they did it, and in front of a great crowd."