It was the worst possible scenario for Highland Springs in Wednesday evening's 5A South Girls Region Championship Game against Princess Anne in Portsmouth.
Star point guard, and the engine of the Springers, Briana Justice, went down with a knee injury in the 1st period and never returned. And the Springers never recovered.
Princess Anne won the Region title with a 74-52 count, up comfortably for most of the game after Highland Springs had to scramble to find the right combinations without their star.
There is no word yet on whether Justice will be available when the Springers travel to Fairfax on Saturday to face Thomas Edison of Alexandria, the 5A North Champions, in one 5A State Semifinal.
In the Boys Final, Henrico took an early lead, punctuated by a long trey to end the first quarter from Ryan Pearson, but Maury asserted their control in the second half, then kept the Warriors at bay the rest of the way, defeating Henrico 61-49.
Monte Buckingham led the Warriors with 12, followed by Pearson with 9. Henrico falls to 20-6 and, too, must make the trip to Fairfax Saturday for a 5A State Semifinal date with 5A North Champion Wakefield, who handed Potomac their first loss of the season in the 5A North Region Final. You may recall Henrico and Potomac playing an overtime thriller in the Henrico Holiday Hoops Classic back on December 28th.
Tickets are $10 and should be available via the main offices at Highland Springs and Henrico.
NOTE: There will be THREE county teams playing Saturday in State Semifinal action, as in 4A, South runner-up Glen Allen will take on 4A North Champion John Handley in a 1pm game at James Madison University. Tickets, too, are $10, available at the Glen Allen main office. The Jaguars have selected a "Blackout" theme for fans going to Harrisonburg for the game.