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Jada Harrison FTs sends Westview to 2A semifinals

Westview’s Jada Harrison (10) dribbles to the basket against York Institute during the Class 2A state quarterfinals on March 9, 2023.

MURFREESBORO — With six seconds remaining in regulation, Westview senior Jada Harrison stepped to the free throw line on what will be her home court this fall.

Harrison knocked down both free throws to send the Lady Chargers to the Class 2A semifinals with a 44-42 victory over York Institute on Thursday. It was a rematch of the 2022 state championship game.

“When the draw came out, we didn’t talk about the draw,” Westview coach Brian Haskins said. “We just talked about it now. Everybody thought these were the best two teams. They were glued in, and it was a different vibe today.”

Westview (31-1) will play Community at 6 p.m. on Friday in the state semifinals.

Harrison, who is a Middle Tennessee State University signee, finished with a game-high 16 points, five assists and four rebounds.

“It is hard for one kid to guard her, and when she gets the double team, she is not a selfish player,” Haskins said. “Sometime too unselfish. But we want the ball in her hands quite a bit.”

The matchup featured two Class 2A Miss Basketball finalists in Harrison and York Institute’s Reese Beaty. Westview’s defense worked to contain Beaty and held her to two points through the first three quarters and finished with six points in the game.

“Reese is good,” Haskins said. “We did a good job on her last year, and our zone is designed to do that. It is not your typical 2-3 zone, and you don’t realize that until you play it.”

But it seemed like every time that Westview would make a run, York would come up with an answer.

While it was two free throws with four second remaining that put the Lady Chargers ahead in the first quarter (10-9), Westview opened up a lead in the second quarter. With 4:15 left in the half, a Harrison layup put Westview up 20-10, but York had the lead cut back to five points (23-18) at halftime.

In the third quarter, a layup by McCall Sims put Westview up 11 — its largest lead of the game — and later a three-point play by Jillian Brigance put them back up by 11 points with 2:03 to play in the quarter. But the lead was down to two points by the end of the quarter.

“I have to do my job and make shots or make the pass,” Brigance said.

Brigance hit big shots throughout the game that helped extend the York Institute defense. She finished with 12 points and four rebounds.

On her birthday, Mary Anna Chester had one of her best scoring games of the season with nine points.

With 3:06 to play, a free throw by Jada Harrison put Westview up six points (42-36). But two York baskets in the next 37 seconds cut Westview’s lead back to two (42-40).

York tied that game back up with 1:24 to play, but that set up the late free throws to win.

“You can never let the defense see that you are at all rattled,” Harrison said. “You have to be calm and poised. This will be my home away from home in a few months.”

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