To set the finals, the No. 3-seeded Lady Golden Eagles ran through No. 2 Oxford Lady Yellow Jackets 60-39.
The performance was powered by a trio of double-doubles for Jacksonville. Junior Virginia Poe scored 19 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Dasia Kirksey added 14 points and 10 boards, and freshman Sierra Stone chipped in with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
“I think Sierra and Dasia really rebounded the ball well tonight,” Jacksonville head coach Ryan Chambless said. “They did a really good job inside. I was really worried about Oxford’s post players. I thought they had more post players than we did, and I thought those two did a really good job of handling them.”
Jacksonville opened the game on a 15-0 run before Casmine Copeland, who finished with 12 points, made a jumper to put Oxford on the board. Winter Taylor also added 14 points for the Lady Yellow Jackets.
“I like to get a quick jump, so we can control whether we want to pressure the ball or not,” Chambless said. “I just like being able to control the pace of the game a little bit, and you can’t do that while you’re down.”
The run was fueled by Poe, who scored 11 of the Lady Golden Eagles’ first 13 points.
“I feel like my teammates helped set me up tonight. It wasn’t just me,” Poe said. “Angel (Kidd) got steals and dished them to me to make layups. I’m pretty sure I only hit one 3 tonight, so I was off on that.”
With the win, Chambless and Jacksonville turn their focus to their finals rematch with Anniston tonight.
“It’s always a fun game for these kids. I think both sides respect each other, and it’s a good rivalry game. It’s just an exciting game, and fun to be a part of, especially the players,” Chambless said.
“I don’t think it can get much better than playing Anniston Saturday night for the county championship with these kids. It’s just a great atmosphere to play in.”
This matchup will be unique, as no two girls teams have played for the county championship four years in a row.
“We want to come out and rebound, and get out in transition,” Chambless said. “Here again, the big picture is we want to get better doing what we’re trying to do as a team, and the same thing applies for tomorrow.”
Added Poe: “We always want to beat Anniston, and they always want to beat us.”