Nashville Christian School's girls put a significant building block in place Monday night.
The Eagles (23-9) overcame an early 12-point deficit, toppled Cascade 51-39 in a Region 5-A semifinal at Eagleville High and advanced to Wednesday's final against powerful Moore County.
"We really struggled with our shooting early, we simply couldn't score,'' coach Brandon Wood, who guided his team last week to its first district championship since 1991, said. "Once we caught up, our confidence grew, and we finished the game strong.''
Senior Natalie Irwin led all scorers with 18 points and had 12 rebounds. Junior Bailey Maddox, the Eagles' leading scorer, popped in 15 points along with 14 rebounds.
Moore County (29-4) thumped Forrest 52-35 in its semifinal contest.
"Moore County is an outstanding team with a Miss Basketball finalist in Sarah Raby who is a great all-around player, who can play any position. She's a great shooter, rebounder, passer. And they are coached by Bruce Slatten, an excellent coach,'' Wood said. "We certainly will have our hands full.''
Monday's wins qualified both NCS and Moore County for Saturday's Class A sectionals, one step away from state.
"That is something we're not focused on right now,'' Wood said. "We are going to prepare well, and try to win a region championship.''
• Christ Presbyterian Academy (26-6) held off Sycamore 45-40 in the Region 5-AA girls semifinals at Vol State in Gallatin.
The Lions will play Macon County, which stunned Lipscomb Academy 74-72 in double overtime. It was the Mustangs' second double overtime loss in three games after a setback in two extra periods to CPA in last week's district final.
• Antioch and Brentwood High won their respective Region 6-AAA semifinal games at Independence High. Antioch tripped host Independence 57-49, and Brentwood avenged an earlier loss, eliminating Hillsboro 51-48.
They will meet Wednesday for the championship for the second straight year. Antioch beat Brentwood in last year's final.