Third time a charm?

Published 10:46 pm Thursday, March 1, 2018

The Lady Bulldogs will face Monacan High School in the state tournament for the third consecutive year on Friday.

The matchup between King’s Fork High School’s girls’ basketball team and Monacan has the making to be epic. Last year, the two teams met in the state championship game in what was an intense game from start to finish. Of all the plays made by both teams during the game, the most crucial and talked about, still to this day, was the last play by Camary Harris.

Harris caught the ball under the basket on an inbounds play and put it up with less than a second left to play. The basket was made, which hypothetically should have given King’s Fork the 61-60 win, but it was waved off by the referees, and they lost 60-59.

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That distraught feeling in that moment has been the driving factor for many of the Lady Bulldogs this season. In 2016, Monacan also eliminated the Lady Bulldogs in the state semifinal game. With both teams meeting for the third consecutive time in the state tournament, King’s Fork is hoping the third time will be a charm.

Preparation this week has been normal. Lady Bulldogs coach Maurice Fofana said his team isn’t going out of its way to do anything special for this game. They may tweak some things but will stay true to what has made them successful.

“We just are going to go out there and do our thing and do what we do,” he said. “We just want to go out there and execute. We want to focus on just us. Only we can beat us.”

Fofana said his players being themselves is a big part of what will make the Lady Bulldogs successful. They want to apply pressure as a team but also not get out of character, which happened in some instances in the Class 4 Region A championship.

“We are going to do what we have been doing the last 20 games,” he said. “Doing that has gotten us this far. If we don’t come out victorious doing what has made us successful then, hey, maybe it was not meant for us to win.”

One thing the coach has reminded his players of is that they are “Bulldogs,” and Bulldogs don’t leave meat on their bones. The Lady Bulldogs think they left meat on their bone against Lake Taylor High School last weekend and knows that can’t happen against the defending Class 4 state champs.

“We know what happened last year, and that was really upsetting to us,” Lady Bulldog Nylah Young said. “We know now we have to go out and play our style of basketball. If we play how we play, there shouldn’t be any problems.”

“Everyone is on the same page with one another, and we are all locked in,” Harris said. “We want to make sure we are playing Lady Bulldog basketball and not theirs.”

King’s Fork will travel to Richmond to face Monacan at Midlothian High School at 7 p.m. Admission will be $10.