East Nashville girls advance to first state title game

East Nashville girls advance to first state title game

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East Nashville girls advance to first state title game

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East's Kyra Trice (5) wraps up Westview's Titi Vincent (31) as East Nashville wins over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East’s Kyra Trice (5) wraps up Westview’s Titi Vincent (31) as East Nashville wins over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East Nashville coach Lois Donaldson talks to her team during a time out as they win over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East Nashville coach Lois Donaldson talks to her team during a time out as they win over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East's Erica Haynes-Overton (20) shoots in the lane as East Nashville wins over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East’s Erica Haynes-Overton (20) shoots in the lane as East Nashville wins over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East's Le'Jzae Davidson (10) celebrates as East makes a huge run at the end to win over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East’s Le’Jzae Davidson (10) celebrates as East makes a huge run at the end to win over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East's Erica Haynes-Overton (20) and Kaia Upton (14) celebrate as they win over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East’s Erica Haynes-Overton (20) and Kaia Upton (14) celebrate as they win over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East's Kaia Upton (14) works the paint as her defended Westview's Lydia Pritchett (35) as Westview High School leads 17-13 East Nashville at the half in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East’s Kaia Upton (14) works the paint as her defended Westview’s Lydia Pritchett (35) as Westview High School leads 17-13 East Nashville at the half in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East's Quentarra Mitchell (32) is blocked by Westview's Deja Grraves (55) as Westview High School leads 17-13 East Nashville at the half in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East’s Quentarra Mitchell (32) is blocked by Westview’s Deja Grraves (55) as Westview High School leads 17-13 East Nashville at the half in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East's Le'Jzae Davidson (10) shoots for two with a hand in her face from Westview's Alexis Beam (32) as Westview High School leads 17-13 East Nashville at the half in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East’s Le’Jzae Davidson (10) shoots for two with a hand in her face from Westview’s Alexis Beam (32) as Westview High School leads 17-13 East Nashville at the half in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East's Erica Haynes-Overton (20) shoots for two in the paint as Westview High School leads 17-13 East Nashville at the half in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

East’s Erica Haynes-Overton (20) shoots for two in the paint as Westview High School leads 17-13 East Nashville at the half in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

MURFREESBORO — East Nashville shot just 2-of-13 from 3-point range in Friday’s Class AA semifinal matchup with Westview at MTSU.

Westview's Deja Graves (55) fights for the ball against several East players as East Nashville wins over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl's basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU's campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Westview’s Deja Graves (55) fights for the ball against several East players as East Nashville wins over Westview High School 35-32 in the Division I Class AA Girl’s basketball semi-finals at the Murphy Center on MTSU’s campus March 11, 2016 in Murfreesboro, Tenn.

But when it mattered most, the Lady Eagles found the bottom of the net.

East Nashville trailed 31-30 and had hit just one 3-pointer all night when Le’Jzae Davidson sank a deep 3 from the right wing to put the Lady Eagles ahead. That proved to be the difference as East Nashville advanced to Saturday’s 6 p.m. state championship matchup against Upperman after a 35-32 triumph.

“What I am (most proud of) is that she didn’t hesitate,” East Nashville coach Lois Donaldson said. “She knew we needed her and she got in position. It takes a lot of courage, character and integrity to keep doing what you’re good at for the best of your team.”

The teams were tied at 8-8 after the first quarter, but Westview (31-3) took a 17-13 lead at halftime by closing the second quarter on a 5-0 run.

East Nashville (31-2) pulled within one point midway through the third, but the Lady Chargers scored the last eight points to take a 27-18 lead into the final quarter.

Not to be outdone, the Lady Eagles pulled within one once again with an 8-0 run to start the fourth, then the two teams traded baskets until Westview pulled ahead 31-30 with a Tasia Jones layup with 2:14 remaining.

“My kids decided they weren’t ready to go home yet,” Donaldson said. “If we were going to head that direction towards East Nashville we wanted to go out on our terms.”

Even after hitting just one of her last seven 3-point tries, Davidson never hesitated and sank a deep 3-pointer with 26 seconds left to send the Lady Eagles to their first state championship appearance in their first trip to the tournament.

She finished with a team-high 14 points.

“That was a very big moment for me,” Davidson said. “I don’t know; I’m speechless about it.”

But even when the Lady Eagles trailed and none of their shots seemed to go in, Donaldson said she never worried that it may not be their night.

“It’s always our night,” she said. “We like to win.”

Reach Sam Brown at 615-259-8232 and on Twitter @SamBrownTN.

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