Bandys stopped Wilkes Central on their final possession and senior Tara Potter grabbed the final rebound, as the Lady Trojans held on to win the Sectional championship Friday.
Wilkes Central (25-5) had possession of the ball with 30 seconds remaining in the game and trailed 66-65. The Lady Eagles ran 20 seconds off the clock before coach Scott Waugh took a timeout to set up the final play.
However, Wilkes Central missed a game-winning shot. Potter grabbed the rebound off the miss, was fouled and made 1-of-2 free throws to seal the Bandys win.
The Lady Trojans (26-3) and Lady Eagles battled throughout the game, trading the lead numerous times. A critical foul on Bandys' Madi Story in third quarter threatened Lady Trojans' chances for a win.
"We built a 10-point lead in the third quarter, but Madi picked up her fourth foul," said Bandys coach Beth Queen. "We had to play from the four-minute mark in the third quarter to the four-minute mark in the fourth quarter without her."
Chelsey Queen and Taylor Sigmon stepped up for Bandys. Queen filled the scoring void that Madi left and Sigmon battled for critical rebounds.
Sigmon also went 4-for-4 from the free throw line late in the game, which helped preserve the Bandys lead and the Lady Trojans held on for the victory.
Sigmon finished with 16 points and nine rebounds. Jesse Story scored 14 points, Potter scored 12 points, and Chelsey Queen added 10 points.
Bandys advances to their 16th West Regional in school history. The Lady Trojans join Newton-Conover, Thomasville and Salisbury in Greensboro next week. Pairings announced by the N.C. High School Athletic on Saturday will pit Bandys against either Thomasville or Salisbury in the opening round. Salisbury beat Bandys in two previous meetings in the western regionals - 2004 and 2010. The Lady Trojans have never played Thomasville.
Coach Queen says Friday's tough game and the atmosphere her team faced against Wilkes Central will help Bandys going into the regional round.
"It was a packed gym with people screaming and yelling,” coach Queen said.“With the tight game we played, our kids showed a lot of poise. Any time you can go into that kind of atmosphere and your kids remain calm, execute, do what they are supposed to do and come out with a win, it has got to help you in the future."