MONTICELLO - Senior Camya Hamilton didn’t feel well before Junction City’s 2A State Tournament game on Thursday. Her three-point play with four seconds left made Bald Knob sick as the Lady Dragons advanced with a 65-63 win.
Junction City (18-14) will take on Melbourne today at 7 p.m.
Hamilton finished with 24 points. She drove baseline-to-baseline for a basket and subsequent free throw to give the Lady Dragons the victory.
“She gutted it out,” said Junction City coach Henry Harrell. “She was the one we knew could drive baseline-to-baseline. Of course, being a senior, she stepped up for us.
“I’m real excited for this team. It’s big for our program, being able to advance in the state tournament after losing the kids we had from last year’s team. It’s big. I’m just excited for these girls. It feels real good.”
Bald Knob led 18-17 after one quarter but the Lady Dragons built a 32-27 advantage at the half. Junction City carried a 44-37 lead into the fourth and never trailed until Kinlee Varnell sank two free throws with 11 seconds left to put the Lady Bulldogs up 63-62.
Varnell and Madi Pierce led Bald Knob with 22 and 21 points, respectively.
“It was a team effort,” said Harrell. “Everybody contributed, even the ones that didn’t play. They were on the bench cheering.”
Taykeetria Rogers scored 10 points with seven rebounds and nine assists.
“She played real big for us tonight,” said Harrell.
Jada Archie scored 11 points with six rebounds. Jhonda Webster scored nine points with five rebounds off the bench.
“It feels real good. I’m real proud of these girls,” said Harrell.
“They hung in there and we made history. It’s the first time Junction City’s girls have won a game in the state tournament … since I’ve been here anyway. They’re excited about it. We talked about it all week. It doesn’t matter what seed you are. It’s whoever is playing the best, right now. I’m proud of them.”
Melbourne beat Two Rivers 38-33. The Lady Bearkatz are 26-6 on the season.