For the third straight year, the Watson Chapel Lady Wildcats are headed back to the 5A State Championship after defeating the Nettleton Lady Raiders 52-48 on Saturday night.
The Lady Wildcats have defeated two No. 1 seeded teams to reach the finals, including Little Rock Christian, and now Nettleton.
It was a back and forth game between the two teams from the start. Jerica Bell scored six points for the Lady Wildcats to put them ahead 13-10 after the first quarter.
Nettleton answered back, starting the quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 19-15 lead midway through the second.
Watson Chapel answered back with a 9-3 run to end the quarter, with Jhakiyah Boston scoring six of those points.
With the Watson Chapel ahead 24-22 to start the third quarter, Bailey Booker made back-to-back triples for Nettleton, and Jordan Elder later made a triple for Nettleton as well to put them ahead of the Lady Wildcats 33-28.
Wyvette Mayberry scored the final points of the third quarter, cutting the deficit down to 35-32 for Watson Chapel heading into the fourth quarter.
Both teams traded baskets on the first few possessions of the fourth quarter, and the game was tied at 42-42 with less than four minutes remaining.
Nettleton would take their largest lead of the game after Elder knocked down back-to-back three pointers to go ahead of Watson Chapel 48-42.
However, Boston knocked a triple, along with baskets from Bell and Taylor Whitted, that helped the Lady Wildcats take a 49-48 lead late in the game.
Down the stretch, Boston and Mayberry were fouled and nailed some clutch free throws that would seal the win for the Watson Chapel.
Bell led the way for Watson Chapel with 19 points; Mayberry followed with 17 points.
For Nettleton, Elder had 16 points, and Booker added 11 points.