GREENSBORO Porter Ridge couldn’t miss when it advanced to its first N.C. High School Athletic Association regional final.
But the Pirates couldn’t buy a bucket in a 46-36 loss to Greensboro Page in the 4A girls’ Western Regional championship game Saturday night.
“Shooting was going to be a factor; I said that from the get-go,” Porter Ridge coach Ina Thompson said. “You’re playing at this level against these teams, and there’s no room for error.
“Not knocking down some of those shots got us in a hole.”
Paris Kea scored a game-high 24 points and was named the game’s most valuable player for Page (28-1), which will face Raleigh Millbrook for the state 4A title next Saturday in Chapel Hill.
Millbrook advanced after beating Southeast Raleigh 58-39 in the Eastern Regional final Saturday.
Porter Ridge (26-4), which shot 55 percent – mostly in the paint – to beat North Mecklenburg in Friday’s regional semifinal had issues against Page.
The Pirates shot just 17.4 percent (4 of 23) in the first half and 23.9 percent (11 of 46) for the game. They did not get a field goal during two key stretches.
First, Porter Ridge went nearly 12 minutes between buckets during the second and third quarters, allowing Page to go up 21-15 at the half and extend its lead to 12 points in the third quarter.
“I got another game tape from a coach this morning that helped me out,” said Page head coach Deborah Jones. She added that the tape was of one of Porter Ridge’s regular-season games.
“(For) most of their points, they like to score in the paint, and they love to go to the right side of the court. But our girls executed our plan to a T.”
Porter Ridge cut Page’s lead to seven points in the fourth quarter, the last at 42-35 on Jasmine Huntley’s layup with 4:02 left. But the Pirates scored just one point in the final four minutes, on a free throw by Justice McKinney – who led her team with nine points – with 2:34 remaining.
“We were trying to open things up the entire second half,” Thompson said.
“We were putting pressure on the ball and trying to get some steals ... but we just couldn’t convert.”