Weddington’s first trip to the N.C. 3A girls Western Regional championship game wasn’t a memorable one.
The Warriors struggled with Hickory’s pressure and Hickory’s poise Saturday at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum, losing 56-13. Weddington All-American Stephanie Watts, who had made 28 3-point shots in her previous three games, was double- and tripled-team all game by an athletic Red Tornadoes team.
Watts, who had 39 points in a 57-54 come-from-behind regional semifinal win over Morganton Freedom, was held to six points Saturday. Weddington ends its season at 29-2. Weddington set a regional record for the fewest points by one team.
Hickory (26-0) will advance to next week’s state championship game at Carmichael Auditorium in Chapel Hill. The Red Tornadoes, who got 31 points from tournament MVP Yaz Hannah, will face Chapel Hill High in a rematch of the 2014 state finals.
Chapel Hill beat Hickory 69-56 last season. Chapel Hill lost to Harding 56-52 in the 2013 final and makes its third straight championship appearance.
Hickory makes it seventh finals appearance, hunting its fourth state championship.
East Lincoln 52, Smoky Mountain 50: East Lincoln sophomore Sage Surratt made two free throws with less than one second left to send East Lincoln to the win. Surratt’s older brother, Chazz, had 18 points, nine rebounds and two steals and was named tournament MVP. East Lincoln, which won the state football championship, will face Kinston in next week’s state final. East Lincoln makes its first state finals appearance.
N.C. 3A Girls Western Regional All-Tournament team
Stephanie Watts, Weddington; Molly Mann, Weddington; Dalton Gossett, Asheville Erwin; Danasia Witherspoon, Hickory; Sadasia Tipps, Hickory; Yaz Hannah, Hickory (MVP)