With four seconds left on the clock and a two-point lead, the Inglemoor senior guard stepped to the free throw line and calmly canned both shots to put the ball game out of reach.
Only eight seconds earlier, Molina missed twice in the same situation to leave the door open for Woodinville. But Pete Flint’s left-handed driving lay-in attempt wouldn’t go down, and after a loose ball scramble Molina was sent back to the stripe for a shot at redemption.
"Yeah, I wanted to be there," he said while getting backslapped by teammates. "That’s what the game is for. You want to be in those situations. That’s why you practice."
The 62-58 home win evened Inglemoor’s league record to 1-1 following a road loss to Newport in its opener two days earlier. Woodinville is now 0-2 in KingCo play.
Viking senior Eric Bryant led all scorers with 19 points, drilling five of eight three-point attempts. Andy Nwaelele scored 14 points with eight assists and three steals, and Molina finished with 13.
Robbie Jackson and Joey Reavley were team-high for Woodinville with 12 apiece.
"Just another KingCo battle," Viking coach Greg Lowell said with a laugh.
The Vikings took a17-9 first quarter lead, were up 31-26 at the half and a seemingly comfortable 46-39 after three.
"We couldn’t put ‘em away and they kept coming back," Lowell said.
Falcon senior Austin Bonvallet, in his first game in uniform after dealing with a knee injury, hit a three from the top of the key as the fourth quarter began to pull Woodinville within four points. Bryant put on a mini-shooting clinic with a sweet tear drop runner and two bombs from opposite corners as Inglemoor jumped back up by nine.
But Woodinville kept coming. Reavley hit a three with a defender in his grill, Nwaele turned it over when he toed the baseline on a drive and Bonvallet nailed another triple to make it 60-58 with 20 seconds left.
Then it was Molina time.
"Jerry played an outstanding game on both ends," Lowell said. "Making the free throws at the end after missing two was obviously huge."
But Lowell, who’s coached Viking basketball for 24 years, noticed something larger.
"The one thing I was really impressed with tonight is it’s two rival schools going against each other and the kids know each other well and there was really good sportsmanship between both teams," he said. "And that’s kinda neat because it’s a pretty good rivalry, it was a heated game and you don’t always see that. Besides getting the win, that’s probably what I liked the best."