No. 3 Anacoco played the role of the underdog in the Class B State Championship and came within seconds of pulling off the upset against No. 1 Holden.
With time winding down, Holden forward Jaycee Hughes drove to the basket and hit a contested layup to give the Lady Rockets the 40-39 lead.
With just three seconds left on the clock, Anacoco was unable to get a shot off, and Holden escaped with the win Saturday at Rapides Parish Coliseum.
"We are honored to be here, and the kids have worked outstandingly this year," Anacoco coach Tim Parker said. "I felt like coming in tonight, it was going to be a tough game, and sure enough, it was. I felt like would come down to one possession, and I thought the teams were really close.
"I took this job in August and these kids have worked so hard. I can't ask for anymore. I took something from John Wooden back at UCLA. He said 'Once a man gives his best, what more can he give. You can't give anymore than that.' They've done that, and I've done that."
The Lady Indians led 39-35, until Hughes hit a layup and the and-1 free throw to make it a point game with 1:44 left on the clock.
"The offense we were trying to run was to get someone in the middle in the lane and maybe try to look in at them and hopefully get a chance to go to the basket from there," Parker said.
Anacoco jumped on Holden in the first quarter with a 3-pointer by Korie Kreps and Ashlynn Chaney to take a 6-2 lead.
"Ashlynn was outstanding tonight," Parker said. "We told her that she was going to have a big game. She's beating herself up about some missed free throws, but you can't do that.
"I thought she was magical tonight..outstanding. Probably the best she's played within the last month."
With 40 seconds left in the first quarter, Holden tied it up at 11 with a layup by Kaylee Hughes, and the Lady Rockets took the lead early in the second quarter with a jumper from Taylor Forbes.
Holden stretched the lead to five before Anacoco got its first basket of the second quarter with 3:58 to go with a pair of free throws from Chaney.
With 2:13 left in the half, Ellie MacDonlad hit a 3 pointer to put Anacoco up 18-15, and the Lady Indians took a 20-19 lead into half after Cammy Hooks hit a layup with 18 seconds to go.
Anacoco lead throughout the third quarter until Kaitlyn Kropog hit an and-1 layup to take the lead with 2:18 to left in the period.
However, the Lady Indians finished the quarter with on a 4-0 run to take the lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Hughes collected the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award after posting 17 points, including the game winner.
"(With) the defense we were playing when Korie (Kreps) went out, she was always just right there," Anacoco forward Annabelle Sellers said. "Korie played good defense on her too. I thought we did a good job defending her."
Chaney led Anacoco with 14 points, shooting 50 percent from the field.
"I had a Snickers bar before the game, and my key is chocolate," Chaney said following the game. "It was good. It was a good game. I was feeling it, and I came ready to play."
Korie Kreps finished her standout career with 11 points and six boards, and Annabelle Sellers scored five points and pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
"It was fun," Kreps said. "I'm going to miss it, definitely. I'm going miss my teammates. It was fun, and I don't regret anything. We worked really hard this year. All the bear crawls, crab crawls, sprints, suicides, it was all worth it. Even though we didn't come out on top, I'm still proud of us. We worked really hard this year. No one thought we were going to be here, but we proved a lot of people wrong."