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RV girls beat Willingboro in thriller

With six seconds left, Willingboro's Kara Cezar drained the type of three-pointer that most high school basketball players only dream of.

With six seconds left, Willingboro's Kara Cezar drained the type of three-pointer that most high school basketball players only dream of.

Gabby Bennett passed the ball to a wide-open Cezar in the right corner. With the crowd and benches in a frenzy, Cezar calmly put the shot up and drained it, giving her team a one-point lead.

It should have been a storybook ending for Willingboro after a back-and-forth game with Rancocas Valley.

But RV had other plans.

In a shot that defined the term buzzer-beater, Brianna Logan found herself with an open look from 10 feet and took the shot.

The ball clanked off the inside of the rim and went in, sending Rancocas home with a stunning 53-52 victory Tuesday night at Willingboro.

"I just tried to focus on my release and form, and the shot went in," Logan said.

Logan said she and her teammates never wavered after Cezar's shot. The Red Devils called a timeout after the Willingboro basket, and Logan said the team was calm.

"We just said we needed to stay focused," Logan said. "I just kept saying, 'We got this. We got this.' "

On the final play, Rancocas Valley (2-0) moved the ball upcourt with three passes before Logan, a 5-foot-3 sophomore guard, took possession of the ball with just over a second left on the clock.

"We wanted this win, we want to be known as the best team in Burlington County, and [Willingboro] almost took it from us," Rancocas Valley coach Anthony Corrado said.

"We just hung tough and pulled it out. It was a great game on both sides."

Rancocas went into halftime down, 28-23.

The Red Devils were hurt by turnovers and a dismal performance at the free-throw line in the first half, hitting only 2 of 13 foul shots.

Adding to Rancocas Valley's troubles was the strong play of several Chimeras.

Willingboro's Michaya Owens, who led all players with 24 points, scored her team's first seven points in the third quarter.

Center Gabrielle Bennett also had a strong game for Willingboro, scoring 14 points and pulling down 15 rebounds.

Willingboro (2-1) led by 35-29 before Rancocas Valley made a strong push toward the end of the third quarter.

The Red Devils ended the period on a 13-4 run and with a 42-39 lead.

"We just never lost faith at any point during the game," said Red Devils freshman Lauren Moses, who contributed 15 points and 11 boards.

The two teams traded baskets for most of the final period, setting the stage for Logan's heroics.

"The third quarter is really when we lost the game," Willingboro coach Guy Fowler said. The last play "was just a young mistake by a young team. But we'll be fine."

Rancocas Valley   13 10 19 11 – 53

Willingboro   12 16 11 13 – 52

RV: Lauren Gaskill 11, Arianna Williams 2, Brianna Logan 8, Natalya Lee 11, Lauren Moses 15, Jasmyne Lewis 4, Jordan Woods-DiPace 2.

W: Kara Cezar 7, Michaya Owens 24, Gabrielle Bennett 14, Taylor Lewis 2, Kamilla Ferguson 5.