Kaitlynn Fratz lifted her arms once to call for the ball as the time ticked down on the Division II national championship in South Dakota.
The California University of Pennsylvania senior guard brought her hands down as the pass went to the other side of the court, then raised them back up again as the final buzzer sounded and teammate Mikki Glenn tossed the ball into the air.
Freshman Shatara Parsons burst off the sideline and lifted up Fratz, who kept her hands up high and her thumbs down, holding up four fingers to represent 44: the number of Shanice Clark, the teammate that the Vulcans lost more than two months ago and honored in every part of their season up until the championship round.
“People probably think I’m crazy for not calling a timeout but I’ve figured out that they will come back,” Strom said of her patience at the beginning of the game. “We’ve gotten down a lot early this year, but we fight.
“I know they’re fighters so I don’t worry too much.”