‘Bink’ shot: Argos beats Fort Wayne Blackhawk on newcomer’s basket with 10 seconds left
Redinger scores 20, Edmonds adds 15 as Argos advances to regional final
BY VAL TSOUTSOURIS
Sports Editor, RTC
FULTON — Argos junior reserve guard Baleigh Binkley wasn’t necessarily to supposed to shoot the ball with 10 seconds left and her team trailing by one point against Fort Wayne Blackhawk in a Class 1A Caston regional semifinal Saturday, but Baleigh Binkley’s season has been anything but typical.
So it might have only been appropriate that Binkley’s game-winning basket led to the 10th and final lead change in the fourth quarter as Argos went on to win 55-53.
Samantha Redinger hit all three of her 3-pointers in the second half and led Argos with 20 points. Lizzy Edmonds added 15, but perhaps her greatest contribution came on defense when she blocked Hailee Kline’s driving shot attempt in the final five seconds and recovered the ball after an Aubrie Swain tip try before Allie Boyer fouled her with 1.6 seconds left.
Edmonds made the first free throw but missed the second, and Kline’s last-second heave from 75 feet was well short at the buzzer.
“I was a little worried they were going to call a foul,” Edmonds said of her block. “I knew it was clean. I’m glad they didn’t. It was an amazing feeling.”
Argos improved to 17-8.
Lily Helmuth poured in six 3-pointers and led Fort Wayne Blackhawk (18-8) with 20 points. Kline, a Manchester University recruit who broke Blackhawk’s all-time scoring mark earlier this season, added 11. Fort Wayne Blackhawk had lost to only one other Class 1A opponent prior to Saturday.
Argos trailed 39-36 after three quarters.
An Edmonds scoop shot capped a 12-0 run that gave Argos a 40-39 lead. They trailed 41-40 after a Boyer basket in the post. They led 43-41 after Edmonds shoveled in another running scooper in the land and completed a 3-point play.
Redinger hit a 3, but Fort Wayne Blackhawk would tie it at 46 after a Boyer layin and an Ema Kline trey.
Redinger’s free throw with 4:07 left gave Argos a 47-46 lead. Helmuth’s 3 put Blackhawk ahead 49-47. Dunlap nailed a 3 to give Argos a 50-49 lead.
Swain hit a 15-footer to put the Lady Braves back ahead, but Edmonds found a cutting Bella Stults in the post to give Argos a 52-51 lead.
But a short jumper from Boyer with 1:58 left gave Blackhawk the lead again, and after Redinger missed a runner and Amanda Fajardo missed a putback, Blackhawk had the ball and called timeout with 1:40 left.
Blackhawk worked the clock down to 36.5 seconds left. After Dunlap gave Argos’ last foul to give, Jennings called timeout.
Kline was the intended recipient of the inbounds pass but fell. Stults grabbed the steal, and Jennings called another timeout with 32.1 seconds left.
“Not necessarily,” Jennings said when asked if the last shot was designed for Binkley to take. “We were going to try to get the best attack of the basket. We knew we could go to the foul line. And Baleigh’s just so darn quick, and she’s got that little running jumper she can take. It was just very timely, and she made it happen. So we’ll take what we get.”
All five Argos players touched the ball on the ensuing possession. Redinger ran through a staggered screen to the left side, but it weaved back to Binkley to Dunlap at the top of the key. Dunlap found Edmonds on the right wing, but she was forced to give up her dribble, and she passed back to Dunlap. Dunlap tossed it to Stults in the post, who received a double-team from Helmuth and Kline. Stults then kicked it back out to Binkley, three feet beyond the arc. Binkley took one dribble and hit nothing but net from on a runner from the foul line.
“I didn’t think it was going to go in,” a smiling Binkley said later. “In practice, I just kind of drive, and if it goes in, it goes in. … We were trying to get it to our open girls, so we could shoot the 3, but if we can’t, we wanted to draw the foul.”
Said Edmonds: “Baleigh’s shot, oh my gosh, it was huge. That was probably the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life.”
Binkley played the previous two seasons at Culver. She transferred to Argos and had played on the JV but did not become eligible for the varsity until Feb. 5. A snowstorm that week allowed her to play in all three sectional games, but this was just her fourth on the varsity.
Asked if she envisioned a scenario like this, she said “no, not at all.” She participated in scrimmages against the varsity in practice and thanked the varsity players for making her feel welcome.
“They definitely brought me into it and helped me,” Binkley said. “I think lately these last couple weeks, we definitely stepped up our game, and we’ve improved a lot.”
Argos jumped out to a 10-3 lead, fell behind 18-13, but then went on an 8-0 run in the second quarter to take a 21-18 lead.
Helmuth’s fourth 3-pointer of the half tied it at 21. Redinger worked a pick-and-roll with Edmonds for a layup, but Blackhawk scored the final five points of the half, capped by a Regan Miller bucket, to take a 26-23 halftime lead.
Argos gung within 30-28 on two Edmonds free throws with 4:39 left in the third quarter, but the Lady Braves followed with a 9-0 run that Hailee Kline capped with two free throws with 1:27 left.
Edmonds hit a 12-footer off a give-and-go assist from Stults, and then Redinger hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions. The second trey was a buzzer beater to cut the lead to three, Redinger flexing as the ball swirled through the net.
“She’s that type of player that can just step up and score some points for us, make it happen defensively,” Jennings said. “She’s just a workhorse. She’s got that outside shot. She can drive. She’s just a player. She’s a player.”
On a double possession, Redinger scored on a left baseline drive to cut the lead to one to start the fourth quarter.
“We were not discouraged,” Edmonds said. “We knew this game was going to go in spurts. Two good teams, evenly matched, so we just decided that we needed to keep that energy, and we were going to get that last spurt.”
Jennings raved about how his team has evolved.
“I think the mental toughness has come,” Jennings said. “I think the leadership has gotten so much better the last few games. The communication on the floor. The leadership from Liz has come a long ways. It’s all starting to click right now.”
In the first regional semifinal Saturday, North White downed Kouts 55-45.
Argos had seven turnovers, none in the fourth quarter.
This was a historically high-scoring win for Argos. The 53 points that Fort Wayne Blackhawk were the most points Argos has allowed in a win since a 65-53 win over Oregon-Davis in January 2018. Prior to that, they hadn’t won a game allowing more than 53 points since a 69-59 win over Culver Academy in December 2013.
Argos 55, Fort Wayne Blackhawk 53
FORT WAYNE BLACKHAWK (53) (18-8)
Lily Helmuth 7 0-0 20, Ema Kline 2 0-0 6, Hailee Kline 3 5-6 11, Regan Miller 1 0-0 2, Aubrie Swain 3 0-1 6, Halle Kramer 0 0-0 0, Allie Boyer 4 0-3 8
TEAM: 20 5-10 53
ARGOS (55) (17-8)
Samantha Redinger 8 1-2 20, Emma Dunlap 3 0-0 7, Bella Stults 3 0-0 6, Amanda Fajardo 1 1-1 3, Lizzy Edmonds 5 5-7 15, Baleigh Binkley 2 0-0 4, Carleigh Miller 0 0-0 0, Sophia Bollenbacher 0 0-0 0
TEAM: 22 7-10 55
Three-point field goals:
Fort Wayne Blackhawk 8 (Helmuth 6, E. Kline 2),
Argos 4 (Redinger 3, Dunlap)
Total fouls: Fort Wayne Blackhawk 12, Argos 10
Turnovers: Fort Wayne Blackhawk 12, Argos 7
Score by quarters
FW Blackhawk 11 15 13 14 – 53
Argos 13 10 13 19 – 55
Watch full game Here: