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Laurel's Saniyah Hall puts on a show at Classic in the Country, despite loss to Anthony Wayne

The sophomore scored 43 points and had 18 rebounds in the loss

BERLIN, Ohio - Saniyah Hall put her face in her hands and put her head down. The Laurel sophomore couldn't believe what she had just done. And neither could anyone in attendance at the Classic in the Country.

But Hall and those in attendance were in disbelief over different things. 

Hall couldn't believe she had missed a shot at the buzzer in a 71-70 loss to Anthony Wayne. Everyone else couldn't believe the performance she had just put on at the Reese Center.

In the final seconds of the game, Sophie Smith was at the free throw line for Anthony Wayne and missed both shots. Hall grabbed the rebound on the second miss and raced up the right side of the floor and to the basket, where she put up a shot in traffic that hit the rim and bounced off.

"I wanted to take the last shot," Hall said. "I thought my coach was gonna call timeout and I didn't want her to call timeout. I felt like I had faith in me to be able to finish but it didn't turn out."

The original plan was for Laurel to get the ball and get across half court and then take a timeout, but once Hall had the ball and was at top speed, head coach Terrina Robinson decided to let it play out.

"I will never call a timeout with her pushing in transition, she's so deadly," Robinson said. "We could have called the timeout and they might have triple-teamed her and we don't get a shot off.  I will live with that. I trust her. I'll live or die with her every single time."

That was the message Robinson also gave to her star player after the game on the court.

"She said, 'I should have let you call the timeout,'" Robinson said. "'I said, everybody on this team will live or die with you taking that shot in that situation.'"

That final shot couldn't put a damper on what Hall had just done, as she scored 43 points, grabbed 18 rebounds and dished out five assists. While she was initially upset, she was quickly consoled by her father and her head coach.

"I was upset with missing the shot," Hall said. "But as soon as my dad came on the floor and my coaches talked to me, I put my head up and I just I'm forgetting about and I'm gonna move on."

One of the most impressive parts of the game is just when Hall did most of her damage. 

With Laurel trailing by as many as 18 early in the fourth quarter, Hall scored 18 of her points in the final quarter and scored 11 of 18 points for the Gators in an 18-1 run that cut the lead to one earlier in the quarter.

"At the end of the day, it was a good game and we fought hard," Hall said. "We were down 18 and we came all the way back. And as a team, we were just positive. We weren't negative. We didn't doubt ourselves. So I'm really proud of us."

This comes on the heels of a 28-point performance against Dee Alexander and Purcell Marian in last season's Classic in the Country.

"Big games, they make this this demon come out of me and just want to win," Hall said. "I love playing (against) better teams, it makes me better."

One lighthearted moment came when Hall was asked about her last steal late in the game that led to a fastbreak layup. It looked like the ball hit her leg before the steal, but a kick ball wasn't called.

"It hit my foot, I'm not gonna lie," Hall said with laugh. "I didn't say anything about it, I just let it be. But I definitely thought it was a kick ball. 

Robinson thought this was one of the top two performances from Hall so far in her short high school career, but also expects even more to come.

"She's really just scratching the surface," Robinson said. 

-- Ryan Isley | | @sbliveoh

(Feature image of Saniyah Hall by Jeff Harwell, SBLive Sports)