CHAPEL HILL — This time they had to do it the hard way.
Kernersville McGuinness won its fifth straight NCHSAA Class 1-A girls championship Saturday with a 55-46 win over Williamston, but the Villains had to do it with their best player sitting on the bench at crunch time.
Junior guard Megan Buckland, who won her second consecutive MVP honor, scored 15 points before leaving the game for good with an injury to her left knee with a minute and a half left in the third quarter.
The Villains (23-7) hung on, with Sammi Goldsmith scoring 14 points and Erin Fitzgerald adding 11.
Williamston (29-1) was in its third state girls' championship game and was looking for its first title in any women's sport.
Katie Paschal led the Tigers with 18 points and eight rebounds while Zakkeya Morris added 13 points.