The No. 10 Stonewall Jackson girls’ basketball team has dealt with a lot of adverse situations this season. So when senior guard Danielle Burns hurt her ankle Friday night late in the third quarter of the Virginia AAA quarterfinals, and star forward Nicole Floyd was in foul trouble, and senior guard Taylor Character was already on the bench in street clothes with a season-ending knee injury, the Raiders could have weathered or withered.
They weathered, gutting out a 55-53 victory over South Lakes at Robinson, their 16th consecutive win, to advance to the state semifinals Monday at the Siegel Center in Richmond, where they will face Princess Anne at 7 p.m.
In the other state quarterfinal Friday at Robinson, Colonial Forge topped No. 7 Edison, 58-52, to become the first Stafford County girls’ team to win a game in the state basketball tournament. Colonial Forge will face Lake Taylor at 1:30 p.m. Monday in Richmond.
There were a lot of reasons why Stonewall Jackson (24-3) might not have advanced. The Raiders were up only 36-35 when Burns, a Fordham signee who only recently returned from an anterior cruciate ligament injury that had kept her out the entire regular season, was helped off after scoring on a drive to the hoop for her season-high ninth point.
South Lakes (23-6) scored on its subsequent trip down the court, but Stonewall senior guard Amanda Hinton hit two foul shots early in the fourth quarter to start an 8-0 spurt. The Seahawks twice got to within two but could not get over the hump.
“We’re not going to let her go out like that, not with an injury. It was more of a pride thing after that,” Floyd said of Burns. “We’re not only athletic. . . . we have good chemistry, and I think that shows a lot in tough situations.”
Burns said she will try to treat her ankle over the weekend to be in position to play Monday. The Raiders played without her almost all season, but the injury to Character, who averages 10 points per game, is still relatively fresh.
“I’m definitely motivated by them to get back for Monday,” Burns said.
Junior forward Abigail Rendle led South Lakes with 16 points on an efficient 7-for-12 night from the floor, with seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks. Aghayere scored nine of her 11 points in the second half and had eight rebounds.
Despite volleying in and out of the lineup in foul trouble, Floyd scored a team-high 16 points. Hinton added 14, and made all nine of her foul shots.
In the first semifinal, Edison fell behind by 17 in the first half, just as it had in the Northern Region final win over South Lakes, rallied to take a brief one-point lead in the second quarter, and then fell behind again by 11 and was unable to pull even again.
The closest the Eagles (24-5) got was 44-41 midway through the third period.
“We couldn’t get that flow to go,” Edison Coach Dianne Lewis said. “We had a little momentum going and then when they scored and made their second run, I think that kind of deflated us a little bit. With a young team, you’re going to see that.”
Edison freshman guard Jada Graves, the most valuable player of the Northern Region tournament, scored 17 of her 22 points in the first half and also finished with seven rebounds and six steals.
Colonial Forge (26-3) made eight three-pointers, and junior forward Jahla Osborne had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Both sets of Eagles have only one senior.