Imani Bryant's 24 points, 24 rebounds and seven blocks propelled No. 1 seed Williamsburg Christian Academy past No. 4 Hampton Roads Academy 57-50 in Charlottesville to advance to the Virginia Independent Schools Division II championship game in the St. Anne’s-Belfield gym.
The Eagles (34-2) have made a state title game for the sixth consecutive year -- the first four in D-III, the last two in D-II. They will play at 5 p.m. Saturday against No. 3 Miller, which dominated the fourth quarter to beat No. 2 Nansemond-Suffolk Academy 45-36.
HRA (15-9), led by Towson-bound Braysia Hicks' 24 points in her final high school game, overcame a nine-point deficit to take a 26-23 halftime lead. But in the final period, WCA outscored the Navigators 23-16.
Stephanie Seaman had 20 points for WCA, while Rachel Lia scored 12 for HRA.
"Imani really came through," said WCA assistant coach John Perkins, whose team lost two key players for the season to recent injuries. "Nissa Chillers fouled out with about four minutes left, but we were able to power through it."
WCA lost last year's title game to Norfolk Christian and will be in a rematch of a game this season against Miller, a Charlottesville-area school.
"We beat Miller during the season at our place by five, but they're really good," Perkins said.
Miller outscored the Saints 28-14 in the second half, including 17-9 in the final quarter. Jessica Pieroni had 13 points for NSA.
Princess Anne beat Maury 49-37 in Churchland High's gym to gain a state semifinal berth and advance to Monday's regional final against Highland Springs at 6 p.m., also at Churchland.
PA finished the game on a 17-6 run, hitting numerous free throws to end the Commodores' season.
Lake Taylor outlasted its Conference 17 rival Wilson 44-39 to win the 4A South championship.
The Titans trailed 6-0 and 12-7 but bounced back to overcome the Presidents.
Surprisingly to some fans, this is Lake Taylor's first regional crown. Under the previous VHSL setup, The Titans won two state championships in Group AAA after dropping Eastern Region finals.
Lake Taylor will play a state semifinal against Loudoun County at Old Dominion's Constant Center at a time to be announced. Wilson will meet William Fleming of Roanoke at Salem Civic Center.
Colonial Beach ended Surry County's season by defeating the Cougars 46-32 in a 1A East Regional semifinal in Lancaster's gym.
The Drifters will play for the regional crown Saturday against third-seeded Altavista, which edged No. 2 Appomattox Regional Governor's School 41-37 to book a pass to state.
Landstown, the team that dramatically ended Woodside's hopes of reaching the state final four, lost 72-68 to Colonial Forge of Stafford County in the 6A South Regional title game at VCU's Siegel Center.
Marco Haskins scored 25 points for Colonial Forge, which has won 23 consecutive games.
Colonial Forge will play its state semifinal against the loser of Saturday night's North title game between Lake Braddock and W.T. Woodson. Landstown will play the victor of that contest.
Maury, behind Matt Coleman's floor leadership and Michael Basnight's defense, pulled away to beat Green Run 64-45 at Churchland and win the 5A South Regional.
Maury will play at 8 p.m. Monday, again at Churchland, against last year's state Group AAA champion, the Henrico Warriors. They edged L.C. Bird 58-57 in Richmond to earn a repeat trip to state -- albeit under a different format.
Homestanding Norcom held off Glen Allen 52-48 to capture the 4A South championship.
The Greyhounds, building on a tradition that includes state championships in 2010 and '11, earned their right to play their state semifinal at ODU's Constant Center. They'll meet the loser of the North final, which puts schools at opposite ends of the state's North-South spectrum -- George Washington of Danville and Handley of Winchester.
Glen Allen, in its first state appearance, will face the GW-Handley winner. The Jaguars, trailing 49-48, squandered a big chance by missing two free throws.
Surry County impressively secured its spot in the state semifinals, more than doubling Mathews 78-38 in a 1A East Regional semifinal at Lancaster.
The Cougars moved into Saturday's regional title game against Altavista, a Lynchburg-area squad that bounced Washington and Lee of Montross 81-49.
Cape Henry Collegiate moved just one victory away from a perfect season, defeating Trinity Episcopal of Richmond 82-65 in a VIS semifinal at Virginia State's Daniel Gym.
The top-seeded Dolphins, whom many observers consider Hampton Roads' best team regardless of affiliation, will meet No. 2 Paul VI for the crown Saturday. Paul VI eliminated its Northern Virginia rival Bishop O'Connell 52-38.
Numerous college recruiters were in Petersburg to watch Cape Henry players such as junior Chris Clarke.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun