CUYAHOGA FALLS — It requires leading by example, showing commitment and having integrity.

For Cuyahoga Falls girls basketball coach Joe Nowak, all of those things are crucial when it comes to a certain five-letter word.

Trust.

On Saturday, that conviction to take the initiative and unite as one was the modus operandi for Nowak’s Black Tigers, who advanced to a Ravenna Division I sectional title game with a workmanlike 39-36 victory over visiting Hudson.

Eighth-seeded Falls advanced to play at top-seeded Aurora at 7 p.m. Thursday for a berth in a district semifinal.

The Black Tigers (13-10), whose win total is their highest since the 2011-12 season, trusted themselves to make stressful decisions down the stretch. When the original plan went awry, they trusted junior guard Raygan Corrigall to take the biggest shot of her life, and Corrigall delivered.

With 6.7 seconds left, Corrigall — who scored 12 points to share game-high honors with Explorers sophomore center Kate Orazen — received a pass from junior point guard Kayla Ramirez. Without hesitation, Corrigall launched a jumper and drained a 3-pointer to give Falls a 38-36 lead.

“It was just a matter of my teammates being there for me and helping me throughout the game,” Corrigall said. “It’s a thrill to have them here with me.”

Corrigall didn’t expect to have the ball in her hands in such a pivotal situation because the play was originally designed for the Black Tigers’ leading scorer, junior guard/forward Chelsea Huffman.

But that plan was thwarted by Hudson, which split its two games with Falls during the regular season.

“We were trying to run her [Huffman] off a couple screens,” Nowak said. “Everybody in the gym knows where the ball is coming. They defended it well. At the same time, Raygan was an option if Chelsea didn’t get it.”

Despite the back-breaking 3 by Corrigall, the ninth-seeded Explorers (9-14) still had a chance.

However, that chance faded away when Ramirez stole a Hudson pass before it reached halfcourt. The Explorers were forced to foul and Ramirez made one more foul shot with 3.6 ticks left before Hudson junior guard Sarah Hinkle’s heave from beyond halfcourt fell shot at the buzzer.

“It’s basketball; it’s life,” Hudson coach Dennis Lawler said. “Some days are great and some days you have to learn how to bounce back. I know this group will bounce back."

Falls seemed to have the game in hand when it outscored the Explorers 14-4 in the second quarter to take a 21-11 halftime advantage, but the Black Tigers’ offense sputtered in the third quarter and for much of the final quarter.

When Hinkle (nine points) made a jumper off the dribble, Hudson, which converted just 25 percent (12-of-48) of its shots, took a 31-29 lead. But the Black Tigers refused to blink.

“All year, it has been an incredibly resilient group,” Nowak said. “That resiliency was on display more [Saturday] than it has been the entire year. When you make shots in key situations, good things can happen.”