The ball was supposed to go to Kansas State signee Christianna Carr for the final shot in overtime to win the game for Manhattan.
Instead, point guard Haleigh Harper found the ball in her hands as the planned play broke down and she drove to the basket. She was hammered while attempting a layup with 1.3 seconds left and made the first free throw to break a 40-all tie.
She missed the second, but it didn't matter as the Indians escaped with a 41-40 victory over 2016 Classic champion Shawnee Mission Northwest to advance to the semifinals.
Because of the way the bracket fell, it was a matchup of teams ranked in Class 6A, the Indians — the defending 6A champion — ranked No. 2 and the Cougars are No. 8.
Manhattan never led in regulation, finally catching Northwest with 40 seconds left on an old-fashioned 3-point play by Kia Wilson. The Cougars missed a shot at the end of regulation to win it.
Manhattan twice trailed in the overtime. It finally was tied at 40-all when the Indians ran their game-winning play.
The Indians prevailed even though Carr was held in check with just 7 points by the defensive work of Hannah Black. She stifled Carr to 1 of 10 from the field.
But Wilson and Megan Worthington stepped up with 13 and 11 points, respectively, to save Manhattan.
The Cougars had raced to a 22-12 halftime lead and upped it to 12 when they scored the first basket of the second half. But when Worthington knocked down a 3-pointer early in the third quarter, it started Manhattan on the comeback trail and it held the Cougars scoreless the final 7 minutes of the period.
Northwest started the fourth quarter on an 8-2 run for a 34-27 lead, but Manhattan permitted just one free throw over the final 5 minutes.
Jordann Nachbar was superb for the Cougars with 18 points. Both teams struggled from 3-point as the Cougars were 1 of 15 and the Indians were 3 of 16.
Manhattan plays the Hays-Wichita Northwest winner at 6 p.m. Friday, while Shawnee Mission Northwest plays the loser at 3:00.
Manhattan (41) — Williams 2-6, 1-2, 5; Harper 1-4, 1-2, 3; Wilson 6-12, 1-1, 13; Worthington 4-7, 0-0, 11; Johnson 1-4, 0-0, 2; Hilgers 0-1, 0-0, 0; Carr 1-10, 5-6, 7. Totals – 15-44, 8-11, 41. 3-pointers — Worthington 3.
Shawnee Mission Northwest (40) — Collier-Williams 3-15, 0-0, 6; Seibold 3-9, 1-2, 7; Black 2-10, 0-0, 5; Nachbar 8-14, 2-5, 18; Peterson 1-2, 0-0, 2; Taylor 1-3, 0-0, 2; Hanson 0-1, 0-0, 0. Totals — Black 1.