ANAHEIM -- The game was in hand. Troy was 5.9 seconds from winning a Southern Section Division 1A girls' basketball title. The Warriors had the ball under the Edison basket, and Edison had fouls to give. All Troy had to do was successfully pass the ball in-bounds. All Edison could do was foul the Warriors and watch the time inch off the Anaheim Arena clock.
Then Bonnie Samuelson made the play of her stellar prep career.
The 6-foot-3 Stanford-bound wing got a hand on Shelby Dougherty's inbounds pass to Briana Roberson and grabbed it out of the air. She turned and shot as quick as she could. And with 3.4 seconds, Samuelson had delivered a controversial 45-44 miracle, a championship for Edison for the first time since 1987.
"I can't even believe that just happened," Samuelson said. "I can't believe I got the ball. I just got it and shot real quick.
"You've always got to think you have a chance. You just have to stay positive."
Samuelson scored 19 points, including a 13 of 14 performance from the free-throw line. But her shooting from the field was sub-par for her; she made only three of 12, and had been short on a three-point attempt with nine seconds remaining.
"It was a great lesson for the girls to never give up," said Edison coach Dan Wiley. "It's tough to lose a game like that."
Even tougher, apparently, given the score-keeping that was questioned by Troy coach Roger Anderson. According to him, both the Edison and Troy scorers had the final score tied at 44-44. ESPNLA.com and the Huntington Beach Independent also had the score 44-44.
But the official scorebook apparently gave an extra free throw to Monay Lee with 3:56 left in the first quarter. She made the second but was apparently given credit for the first as well.
"Both books had it 44, they knew it in the first quarter and they wouldn't change it," Anderson said. "I tried to correct it and they wouldn't change it. It's all on that guy. It was heartbreaking. To play so hard and lose it at the end that way. I told them, 'If this game comes down to one point, it's ridiculous.' "
It came down to one point on a night of 13 lead changes and 14 ties. Southern Section spokesman Thom Simmons addressed the issue afterward. Although both teams kept score individually, there was an official scorer for the game.
“The [official] book -- when the refs were notified, they brought the officials over -- [it] was the book of record," Simmons said. "The official book had it correct as far as they knew. The home book, or in this case the official book, is the book of record, it’s the one you go by. They took it right there at the moment."
Karlie Samuelson supported her sister with 15 points, but no other player scored more than five for the Chargers (29-3), who had scored a 46-32 victory when the teams met on Jan. 29.
Troy (27-4) got 12 points from Roberson and 10 from Dougherty as the Warriors tried to win its first title since winning four in a row in 2006.
Bonnie Samuelson kept Edison in the game in the first half. She was 12 of 12 from the free-throw line and scored 14 as the teams went into the break tied at 22-22.
Edison took a 38-37 lead into the fourth quarter and held it until 2:42, when Maddy Barrett stole the ball and took it in for a layup to tie the score at 42-42. Barrett was the only senior starter for the Warriors.
Alecia Dimas gave Troy the 44-42 lead with 1:10 remaining with her basket inside after taking a pass from Roberson.
Rilee Horton made the back end of a pair of free throws with 48 seconds left to cut Edison's deficit to 44-43.
Esther Du missed on a drive for Troy with 16 seconds remaining, then Samuelson missed her three-pointer.
Then she made the play of her life.