Harrower relives last-second shot in Spirit's dramatic victory on Canberra's court

It will be remembered as one of the Bendigo Bank Spirit’s most famous victories, but even match-winner Kristi Harrower doubted her team could reel in the Canberra Capitals’ lead late in the final quarter of Sunday’s match.Australian Opal Harrower drained a buzzer-beating jump shot from just inside the three-point arc to claim a 71-70 win for the Spirit in Canberra.The Spirit had trailed by eight points with less than two minutes to play, until baskets from Harrower, Tess Madgen and a three-pointer from Heather Oliver set the scene for Harrower’s clutch shot.Spirit guard Kelly Wilson took the ball from the sideline throw-in, passed to Madgen who drove into the key, drawing two Canberra players towards her.Madgen dished the ball out to an unmarked Harrower – who is one of the WNBL’s best shots from range – and the rest is history.But Harrower said while the play worked brilliantly, it wasn’t intentional.“It didn’t go to plan because we didn’t have time to talk about it. It was just that Tess got open and penetrated towards the basket,” Harrower said.“To be honest I tried to get Tess to cut to the baseline.”Madgen’s drive and pass gave Harrower a split-second to shoot while under pressure from a charging Canberra defender – her shot hit nothing but net.“The girls asked me afterwards ‘what goes through your head?’ – nothing, you don’t have time to think about it,” Harrower said.“I’ve watched it a lot of times on YouTube, it was the perfect shot.”Harrower scored nine points for the match, but said she and many of the Spirit players struggled with fatigue during the physical encounter with Canberra.The Spirit had also played on Friday night at Bendigo Stadium when the team beat Dandenong and Harrower wasn’t sure the players had much more to give.“I suppose when we were eight down (I started to doubt we could win), because we played Friday night and that did take a lot out of us – we all felt tired.“We had a time out and dad (Spirit coach Bernie Harrower) raised his voice at us. I asked the girls to dig deep for the last few minutes and the girls responded to what dad and I asked.”The win lifted the Spirit to third on the table and the team has now won five games in a row.The Spirit is on the road again this weekend, first against competition leaders Adelaide on Friday night before travelling to Perth to take on lowly West Coast Waves.It will be a tough run home for the Bendigo club which, despite playing its final three matches at home, faces top-five teams four times in its last six games.However, Kristi Harrower believes the team is capable of finishing in finals contention now that the players have begun working together better on court.“This is the time where we made our run last year, the girls are starting to play well together – the chemistry’s coming back,” she said.“That’s what the Spirit is all about – playing together.”

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