The South Lakes High School girls basketball team's run through the Northern Regional came to a disappointing end Saturday in a 60-52 loss to Edison.
However, the team, based on its spot in the Regional final, had already secured a place in the Virginia AAA Tournament. The girls are regrouping for a Friday meeting with Northwest Region champs Stonewall Jackson of Manassas in the state tournament opener.
The quarterfinal game is at 6:45 p.m. at Robinson High School. If South Lakes advances, later round games are at Virginia Commonwealth University's Seigel Center. Stonewall Jackson is 23-3 and has not lost a game since Dec. 28.
After four straight tournament games that came down to a margin of three points or fewer, South Lakes (23-5) seemed to have a safe margin against Edison (24-4). The Seahawks led 20-5 after the first quarter after center Abigail Rendle (14 points, 12 rebounds, nine blocks) helped shut down Edison's offense.
South Lakes was up 26-9 at one point, but Edison began to chip away. Edison went on a 17-5 into the third. South Lakes led again in the fourth, but the Eagles - boosted by consecutive three-pointers by Lindsey Krisek and Megan Hendrick- sealed the victory.
Still, South Lakes is in the state tournament for the first time since 1986 - when current coach Christy Winters Scott was a star player. She says her voice mail and Facebook page have filled up this week with greetings from countless former area players.
"This has drummed up so many memories for me," said Winters Scott.
She has used her own experience to give the girls some advice this week.
"I told them 'you can't want it so badly you can't make us play in a way we have not played all year'," she said. "We just have to do what we have done. And no matter what, have fun. I told them to enjoy this and take it all in."