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Capital girls slip past SC 49-48

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- With 12.4 seconds left and his team down by a point, Capital coach B.J. Calabrese knew who he wanted with the ball. Khadijah Lee played the second half as if her high school career depends on it.

Which it does, of course, at this time of year.

Lee took the inbounds pass from the left side, scooted around the right flank of the South Charleston defense and sank a layup with about 3 seconds left to give the host Cougars a 49-48 win Tuesday in the Class AAA Region 3 Section 1 tournament.

With Lee's 17th and 18th points, Capital (9-12) advanced to take on George Washington at 7 p.m. Friday for the section title. She hit 7 of her 14 shots, 6 of 10 after halftime.

"At times, she is really and truly too unselfish and we have to get on her for that," Calabrese said. "You want them to play as a team but there are times she'll just give it up, give it up, give it up. She's our best shooter by far."

Lee scored Capital's first two points, but that came after SC took a 7-0 lead. She stayed largely invisible amid her team's 20 first-half turnovers, but her teammates pulled the Cougars even at 24 with a half-ending 9-1 run, punctuated by a Keke Walker 3-pointer.

In the third quarter, Lee stepped out of the shadows and started firing, hitting three 3-point bombs and another basket to give Capital a 41-31 lead. When she hit her fourth 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, she had 16 points and the Cougars led 44-35.

But with Lina Villanueva's 18 points and at least a half-dozen steals, the Black Eagles didn't stay down long. She started the rally with a 3-pointer, followed with baskets by Laci Jarrell, Zhakiya Brown, Ary Mosley and Brown again to cut the lead to 47-46.

Then at the other end, Brown stole the ball and started the fast break, feeding Villanueva for a basket and a foul. Villanueva missed the free throw with 1:16 left, but the Black Eagles led for the first time since the first half, 48-47.

Better yet for the Eagles, Webb rebounded the miss and they were able to milk the clock. Capital finally used its one foul to give with 29 seconds left, and put Villanueva on the line in the bonus with 19.5 left.

Villanueva missed, however, giving Capital the ball and a chance to go ahead. Calabrese ordered a timeout and drew up the final play.

"We kind of set up the play where we were trying to isolate on the block," Calabrese said. "[The right] side cleared out; we said, 'Let's attack the basket, let's not accept an outside shot.' She attacked the basket and, fortunately, she was able to finish it."

Without timeouts, the Black Eagles couldn't set up a viable shot. And with that, Lee and the Cougars have at least two games left.

Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsmock@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.

 


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