DON KETCHUM is a native of Phoenix. He was a sportswriter for The Arizona Republic/The Phoenix Gazette for nearly four decades. He covered high school sports on several occasions as well as the Arizona Diamondbacks, Arizona Cardinals and Arizona State sports. From 2008-14, he was a staff writer for, the web site of the Arizona Interscholastic Association.

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Glass sneakers fit, Davis hits 3-pointer at buzzer

 Cinderella tried on a glass slipper and it fit, creating a story of a lifetime.

Then came another tale of wonder on Friday night (March 5) for Xavier Prep’s basketball team.

Mia Davis tried on a pair of glass sneakers and they fit, helping to give her and Gator Nation a magical memory that won’t soon be forgotten. She used the glass backboard to hit the winning three-point shot for a 62-60 Xavier victory.

After Nicole Smith's two free throws gave visiting Gilbert Perry a 60-59 lead with three seconds remaining in regulation, Xavier coach Jennifer Gillom called timeout after her team brought the ball quickly past midcourt. The clock had run down to :01, but officials put one second back on.

When play resumed, the ball was inbounded to Tori Saucedo. Finding no opportunity to put up a shot, she fired the ball over to Davis on the left. Davis had no time to move closer, so she let the ball fly.

It went off the glass and in to give the Gators their second win over Perry this season.

Pandemonium broke out this time as Gillom and the Gators rushed the Activity Center floor. The Perry players stood in stunned silence, because they, too, had played well enough to win.

“What a win that was. That was crazy,’’ Gillom said.

With the 6A Conference state tournament starting on Tuesday (March 9), Gillom said that “we needed this type of (pressure) game.’’

She said the last play was to go to Saucedo, a senior, or Davis, a sophomore, and was happy that Saucedo was able to get the ball to Davis so quickly.

Davis had used the glass for another three earlier in the game, scoring Xavier’s first points of the third quarter. She finished with 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.

One of her assists should go on a highlight reel. Davis drove toward the basket and dished the ball, seemingly blindly, off to freshman Sarah Miller for the bucket. Miller finished with a team-high 24 points and four steals.

Perry trailed just 33-32 at halftime and stayed within striking distance thanks to the outstanding play of sophomore forward/post Khamil Pierre, who scored nine of her team’s 11 points in the third quarter. She finished with 34 points.

The Pumas kept battling and pulled ahead 56-55 on a 3-pointer by Leah Davis with 1:19 left.

Back-to-back baskets by Miller allowed Xavier to take a 59-58 lead with about 15 seconds left, setting up the two free throws by Smith and the ultimate shot by Davis.

For Xavier, junior forward Toni Garcia provided a big lift off the bench with four points, seven rebounds and a pair of blocked shots.

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