Chadwick overcame a slow start to down Bunker 67-53 in Sectionals Tuesday night in Cabool, leaving the Lady Cardinals just one win away from a school-record third consecutive Final Four trip.
“It’s really exciting,” said Chadwick senior Kailyn Rozell. “As soon as we got in the locker room we were all saying that we are just one game away and we can do this. We are really pumped, we know we can do it, we just need to work hard and keep doing what we’re doing.”
…[T]he Lady Cardinals were able to take a 26-21 lead into the half thanks to the play of sophomore guard Shayna Adams.
Usually known for her left-handed dribble-drives, Adams was able to give a boost to Chadwick on Tuesday night due to her perimeter shooting.
Adams scored eight first half points, but helped Chadwick maintain its slim lead throughout the third quarter behind a trio of 3-point bombs.
She would finish with 17 points.
“Our other three starters haven’t gotten a ton of playing time in the past, but they are really stepping up and they aren’t afraid of the moment; them being used to this spotlight makes my job easier. I’m always telling our girls it might be someone different each night, but someone has to step up. Against Bradleyville it was Hailey and tonight it was Shayna. We were struggling and she stepped up and saved the day for us.”
Adams’ nine-point third quarter gave Chadwick a 44-39 lead heading into the fourth quarter, setting the stage for Rozell to play the role of closer.
The 5-foot-10 senior scored 14 of her game-high 30 points in the final eight minutes to put the game on ice for Chadwick, this despite seeing constant attention and double teams throughout the night.
“They scouted us in the district championship game against Bradleyville and they also ran a triangle and two against us,” said Argo. “We are used to seeing it and the thing is, if you just run your offense and set good screens you’ll still get good looks and rim attacks. You just have to stick with it and not get scatter brained.”
Stevens also added 12 points for the Lady Cardinals.
All that stands between Chadwick and another trip to Columbia is Naylor, a 59-31 winner over Oran on Tuesday.
For Argo, who has never been to the Final Four as a head coach, he is hoping the time is now.
“This is my second year being a high school coach and I got here last year with the Niangua boys,” said Argo. “I’m hoping these girls can take us to a Final Four. They just have to stay confident, play strong, and have another good week of practice.”
Chadwick and Naylor will tipoff at approximately 2:45 p.m. on Saturday in Van Buren. Naylor has lost four consecutive Class 1 quarterfinal games, with each of the last two coming at the hands of the Lady Cardinals.