Allison McFarren looked up at the clock and smiled; she knew they had won. There was still 2:28 on the clock.
Carroll freshman Ella Larkin drove to the basket on a breakaway with a Liberal defender at her right hip. She jumped for a layup, earned a foul and the shot dropped. The Eagles went up 12.
"I knew at that point that we had taken the game, it was ours," McFarren said. "I knew we were heading to the state championship."
For the first time since 2008, Carroll sent its boys and girls teams into the Class 5A state championship games after the Eagles' 52-38 victory over top-seeded Liberal. Larkin - like her brother, Luke, in the boys' game - made one of the plays of the semifinal round.
"I was confident going up there," Larkin said. "I just tried to go as fast as I could when I got there."
Larkin finished with eight points and a game-high 16 rebounds. She added four assists, two blocks and two steals. Britney Ho, one of Carroll's leading scorers with 13 points, said she saw a game like that coming.
"She stepped up from the first day of tryouts, and she grew tremendously," Ho said. "She can carry her own on the court. Look out for Ella Larkin."
Ho said Larkin and McFarren embody the diversity that has gotten Carroll to the title game.
"Look at us," Ho said. "We have one senior. We have short 5-foot-4 girls to 6-foot-1, and the age range is just incredible."
McFarren said that helps them offensively. When she isn't having a hot shooting night, Ho, Larkin and others always seem to be there to pick up her slack, she said.
There is also diversity with Carroll's coach, Taylor Dugan. She was part of Carroll's only basketball state title team, boys or girls, in 2004.
The Eagles beat McPherson 36-31 in Class 5A that year, and Dugan said she reminds her teams of that title at the start of every season. Dugan said it's definitely different this time around
"As a player, you just have adrenaline when you're playing," she said. "As a coach, you just want to see them succeed, and I think that's a better feeling."
The girls know the history. The girls will have to go through the reigning state champs, St. Thomas Aquinas. Carroll lost to Aquinas in the first round of the 2017 state tournament. McFarren said that only ignites their fire to win round 2 even more.
They know what's at stake, and they know how special it is to have both teams still alive on the last day of the season. The last time in Class 5A both teams won state titles, Kapaun did it in 2012. Before that, it was Miege in 2001.
They said watching the boys clinch their spot in the final motivated them to play with a fire Friday.
"We couldn't go back to school on Monday knowing that they got farther than us," McFarren said.