Chapel Hill High’s dream of a second straight 3A girls basketball championship moved a step closer to reality Saturday with a 61-41 victory over Rockingham County in the East Regional finals in the N.C. High School Athletic Association.
Chapel Hill, seeded No. 4, used a pressing defense to make up for its poor first-half shooting (12-of-32). The Tigers forced the No. 10-seeded Cougars into 27 turnovers and 13-for-37 shooting (37.1 per cent from the field.)
The win sets up a rematch on Saturday at North Carolina’s Carmichael Auditorium with Hickory, the team Chapel Hill defeated in last year’s championship game.
Raziyah Farrington, the regional MVP, scored 20 points and made four steals for Chapel Hill (24-2). Jessica Wall had 12 points.
Farrington and Wall were joined on the all-regional team by teammate Tamia Eatmon, who had nine points, seven rebounds and four steals.
“Our goal since the beginning of the year has been to win a second championship and that is still our goal,” Farrington said.
Rockingham (25-4) was led by Brianna Best’s 12 points. Gabrielle Goron had 10.
Getting its transition game into gear off Rockingham turnovers, Chapel Hill made 14-of-29 shots in the second half and used a 13-2 run in the third quarter to break open the game.
Down 39-27 at the start of the fourth quarter, Rockingham never got closer than 43-33.
“We kind of quit there in the third and fourth quarter,” Rockingham coach Woody Wall said.