But once the fourth quarter came around, the Lady Spartans couldn’t miss.
Only 2-of-8 from the field the third, and trailing Kell by 12 points, Campbell was successful on all eight of its shot attempts in the fourth, and that was enough to mount a rally to a 51-50 win over Kell on Friday in the semifinals of the Campbell Holiday Classic.
Campbell (10-2) will face Douglas County tonight for the championship of its annual tournament.
“We didn’t play particularly well, but we fought through it,” coach Randy McClure said. “Hopefully, that should give us some confidence.”
Makayla Wilson was the only double-figure scorer for Campbell with 16 points — 10 of which came in the fourth quarter — but the scoring was more widespread with nine players contributing. Julie McKie added nine points, and Jarriel Lark and Makayla Lee finished with seven apiece.
Campbell won by outscoring Kell 25-18 in the fourth quarter. But in the third quarter, the Lady Longhorns (4-7) were on the verge of taking control after scoring 10 unanswered points to take a 32-20 lead.
But the lead started evaporating when Simone Spencer hit a layup with 25 seconds left to give Campbell its first field goal of the second half. A free throw and a layup by Lark during the final seconds cut the Kell lead to seven.
Once the final quarter began, Kell started missing the shots it made in the third quarter, and starters Judea Johnson and Te’a Kiger both fouled out.
“Their pressure got to us and we didn’t make our shots in the fourth quarter. That was the difference,” Kell coach Craig Hines said. “Another problem we had was having two starters on our bench.”
Campbell continued to shrink Kell’s lead in the fourth quarter, before tying it at 39-all on Lee’s layup off a turnover with 4:45 left. Then a reverse layup by Wilson gave Campbell its first lead — 43-41 —since early in the third quarter.
The teams exchanged leads before a pair of Miranda McClure free throws gave Campbell the lead with just over a minute to play. Although Kell never got out in front during the final minute, Onyx Henderson’s layup did tie the game at 50-all with 6 seconds to left.
But Henderson, who led the Lady Longhorns with 21 points, was called for her fifth foul on Campbell’s next possession, she fouled out and Marisa Hall made one of two free throws to go up by one.
“We were playing for one shot,” McClure said. “Marisa got fouled by Henderson, and that was big for us and for them. Taking away Henderson was a big deal.”
Campbell preserved the lead when Lee deflected Camrie Hingle’s inbounds pass. Hingle caught Lee’s deflection and barely got a shot off before the buzzer, but it fell short.
Johnson and Jordan DuBose each added 11 points for Kell, which will play Chamblee in today’s consolation game.