Well, there were a few contrarians.
“Nobody believed we could do it but us, and that’s all that mattered,” said Gate City’s Jordan Gose after her team’s stunning 64-62 victory.
An offensive rebound by her little sister, Kaely Gose, whose putback of Morgan Gose’s rimmed-out jumper as time expired evaded overtime and sent the highly touted Lady Buffaloes into extinction.
“They were boxing out. They wanted to win this, too. So I knew if she missed it somebody had to get it,” said the youngest Gose sister, who scored eight points.
Morgan Gose rose to the occasion, scoring 24 points to lead Gate City (22-2), which ensured itself a 2A state semifinal berth next week. Jordan Gose scored seven. Megan Edwards, whose wide-open layup off Morgan Gose’s trap-spoiling pass from just past midcourt, put Gate City up 62-60 with 36 seconds remaining.
Gate City coach Kelly Houseright, whose team rarely trailed by much more than two possessions before taking a 52-51 lead off a pair of Morgan Gose free throws with 4:07 remaining to play, savored the thrill of overturning one of the state’s most-respected girls basketball dynasties.
“Our kids have shown great composure over the last few weeks. To do this on their home floor in front of such a loud crowd ... That was huge,” Houseright said. “We just told them to brelentless after the ball. We knew we had to score and there wasn’t much time on the clock.”
Ashley Gallimore scored 12 points to pace Floyd County. Ragan Wiseman and Amanda Hollandsworth scored 10 apiece for the Lady Buffaloes (23-2).
In the other semifinal, Wise Central firmed up its own itinerary for next week.
The Lady Warriors got 14 points from Kayla Mulkey and clinched a state seminal berth in a 49-39 win over Martinsville,
“It’s an opportunity to keep playing. And that’s been our goal ... To play in March. Obviously we’ll need to play better Saturday,” said Central coach Robin Dotson, whose team will face Gate City in Saturday’s championship game, which will be played at Virginia High at 4 p.m.
Martinsville buckled down defensively on Wise Central scoring leader Logan Reynolds, who was held scoreless in the first half and finished with four points.
Still the Lady Warriors (22-5) never trailed, with Mulkey scoring eight of her points in the first half. Annie Church came off the bench to score six of her eight in the first half and Khelsea Salyers stepped up for four points before intermission.
“Logan didn’t score in the first half and we still scored 28 points. We’ve been looking for other people to score,” said Dotson. “I guess everybody is due an off-night. Logan does a lot for us. I’m sure she’ll bounce back for the next game.”
Reynolds, who handled the ball for the endgame and hit all four of her fourth quarter free throws, was typically unruffled.
“Basketball is called a team sport for a reason. Everybody contributed. I know I wasn’t on my game tonight, but that’s why I have teammates. They picked me up an they got the job done,” Reynolds said.
Brittany Turner scored 13 points to pace the Lady Bulldogs (5-18) , whose record was uglied up by playing 5A and 6A schools during the regular season. Jalexus Mitchell scored 11.
“I don’t think Reynolds hurt us too bad defensively. A lot of the things we did we’re self-inflicted,” said Martinsville coach Charlie Holland, who started three freshmen and played seven.