Keke Walker scored 16 points and Khadijah Lee finished with 11 as visiting Capital handed undefeated and defending state champion Greenbrier East its first loss of the season with a 54-45 win in the Class AAA Region 3 girls basketball co-finals Thursday night.
The Cougars (9-14) led 26-23 at halftime and increased the lead to 38-30 by the end of the third quarter. Capital outscored the No. 1 Spartans 16-15 in the fourth quarter to seal the upset and secure a spot in next week's state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
After losing in a sectional final game to George Washington last week, a trip to the state tournament seemed doubtful at best for the Cougars.
"Our emotions from Friday to this week have been one extreme to another," Capital coach B.J. Calabrese said via phone interview. "We watched a lot of tape and we felt we had a good game plan coming into it. We came down here two weeks ago and got beat by the 3-ball. We knew we had to get out on the perimeter and limit them to one shot and out."
The Cougars were able to do just that as East finished an anemic 0 for 23 from 3-point range.
Calabrese will have his work cut out for him in trying to get his girls refocused after one of the biggest wins in school history. But Calabrese said his team, which includes seven seniors, will be ready.
"I told them as we were getting on the bus that they're expected to be at school and be there on time because we have work to do," Calabrese said. "This was a real nice win for us and we'll celebrate this one tonight, but [today] at 3:30 we've got to get back to work. We're glad to make it, but we want to have a good showing at the Civic Center."
For Greenbrier East (24-1), Bianca Andre was the only double digit scorer with 17 points and added 12 rebounds and two blocks.
Abbie Vuchan contributed 14 points for the Greyhounds (14-7). Adreana Vance paced Tug Valley (15-9) with 24 points while Hannah Armstrong added 15.