After defeating Munford 65-43 in Friday’s Class 4A sub-regional game, Jacksonville’s goal became a reality.
The win puts the Lady Eagles (21-7) in the Northeast Regional, where they will face Madison County or Crossville on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Jacksonville State.
“It’s an even bigger deal for us because we play in town,” Chambless said. “It’s kind of like a home game for us almost. It’s a lot of fun. You’re just happy that your team is in it and your girls get an opportunity to play up there.”
Munford had no intentions of letting Jacksonville advance. After trailing 10-0 early in the first quarter, the Lady Lions went on a 12-9 run to end the quarter trailing 19-12.
They followed up that quarter by outscoring Jacksonville 14-9 in the second. Even so, the Lady Eagles still held a halftime lead of 28-26.
“We didn’t play good defense the first half, I don’t think,” Chambless said. “We turned it up a notch in the second half.”
The Lady Eagles’ defense allowed only eight points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth. Their offense, however, erupted for 37 points in the second half.
Jacksonville’s junior guard Virginia Poe had only four points in the second half, but her work on defense sparked the Lady Eagle’s second half dominance.
“I wanted to come out strong on defense and get everybody else going on defense,” Poe said. “Me and Angel (Kidd) just tried to lead and just get it started.”
Poe finished with 16 points, four assists, four steals two rebounds and a block.
Kidd led with six assists and added 11 points of her own. Sophomore forward Dasia Kirksey managed a double-double. She led with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
The loss ended Munford’s season at 15-6. Head coach Anne Hopkins referred to the season as “a great year.”
“All the teams we lost to are very good,” she said. “Jacksonville played a great game. We’re not disappointed with the way that we played. We’re just disappointed in the outcome.”
Senior Ra’Aunna Caldwell closed her high school career leading Munford in scoring with 17 points.
“Caldwell is our only senior,” Hopkins said. “Her goal was to get to JSU before she graduated. We’re disappointed that we didn’t reach that for her.
“Her tenacity and her determination has made our program what it is today.”