LATHAM Lauren Woods couldn't possibly have known just exactly what the two-free throws she was about to shoot meant to the Shaker girls' basketball program Friday night.
She did know the game was on the line – as well as the Suburban Council title – when she stepped to the line with 10.6 seconds remaining and her team trailing 55-54 to undefeated Shenendehowa.
The six-foot-three captain gave her teammates something to celebrate on senior night, as she sank both free-throws to help the Blue Bison beat the Plainswomen 56-55.
Both teams have identical 14-1 record in the North Division of the Council with one game remaining.
What Woods didn't know was the gravity of the the victory.
It was the first time Shaker defeated Shenendehowa since 2001. And a victory over Niskayuna on Tuesday will mark the first Suburban Council title, which it will likely share with Shen, since 1985
"I know how to make them, and I knew I had to make them,'' Woods said of her game-winnning free throws.
Shen coach Ken Strube called two timeouts to put the pressure on Woods, but she came out of the huddle with a big smile on her face.
"I didn't think about the shots in the timeout. I was just focusing on what we needed to do once I sank them,'' said Woods, who entered the game with 56.3 percent shooting average from the foul line. "I didn't doubt in my mind I could make them. I had no option."
After Woods' heroics, Shen had two trips down the floor and got off a shot on each one. Emily Weber drove the lane and bounced a layup off the back of the rim. Shen fouled and MacKenzie Rowland missed the front end of a one-and-one. Mary Kate Cusack's long jumper at the buzzer didn't fall.