By David Fong
Regional Sports Content Director
PIQUA — Thousands of times, when Tasha Potts was alone shooting baskets with no one watching, she would begin the countdown in her head as she pretended she was putting up a game-winning shot.
“3 … 2 … 1,” the Piqua High School junior would think to herself before launching a shot toward the basket.
“I did that a lot,” Potts said. “I made them every so often.”
While her shooting percentage under those imaginary conditions may not have been particularly high, the Piqua Daily Call Athlete of the Week is a perfect 1-for-1 when the situation is real and it matters most.
With a crowd watching and the game on the line against Piqua’s fiercest rival — one the Indians had not defeated in nearly 15 years — Potts did hit the game-winner last weekend, powering Piqua to a 32-31 win over Troy in Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division. It was the Indians first victory over the Trojans in 20 attempts.
“There really was no set play,” Potts said. “It was just supposed to go to anybody who was open. I saw that it was open and I took the shot — I really didn’t know how much time was left on the clock.”
As it turned out, there were 10 seconds left when Potts hit the 3-pointer that put the Indians up 32-31. Troy had one final shot, but Potts’ teammate Hannah Went was able to make a defensive stop to preserve the victory — and a moment Potts likely will never forget.
“I thought it felt good when it left my hand, but I wasn’t sure,” Potts said. “But once it got close to the rim, I knew it was going in.”
When it did, it set off a celebration more than a decade in the making.
“Everyone was so happy we beat Troy,” Potts said. “I wasn’t even sure how long it had been since we had beat them. I had heard 18 years; I had heard 12 years — I just knew it had been a really long time. We were all celebrating in the lockerroom after the game. Then coach (Rory Hoke) came in and he was really pumped. We were all really happy.”
It’s a moment that will live on not only in Potts’ mind, but on social media as well.
“We put a bunch of pictures on Instagram and Facebook,” Potts said.
Contact David Fong at (937) 440-5228 or firstname.lastname@example.org; follow him on Twitter @thefong