AUSTIN -- Mansfield Summit shrugged off a poor shooting night, gritted its way to another victory and is one win away from a second state title in four seasons.
The Lady Jaguars defeated Mont Belvieu Barbers Hill, 40-37, in the Class 4A UIL state semifinal at the Erwin Center on Thursday night despite missing its first eight shots of the game and being outscored 11-6 in the fourth quarter.
"We take a lot of pride in our defense," Summit guard Shayna Jackson said.
"We know that we can't live and die by the jump shot. When you're off, defense wins games."
Summit will play Rockwall at 3:30 p.m. Saturday for the state championship.
Summit (36-3) took a 19-18 lead into the half behind Ashley Eli, who scored 10 of her team-high 13 points in the second quarter.
Barbers Hill opened the third period on a 8-0 run and it looked as if the Eagles (38-4) might roll.
Summit answered by rattling off 15 unanswered points to close out the third period by forcing turnovers and getting out on the break with junior guard Maya Hawkins pushing the ball up the floor.
Barbers Hill erased the Jaguars' eight-point lead by opening the final quarter on an 11-2 run to take a 37-36 advantage with 2:40 remaining. The Eagles' 6-foot-4 center, Kendall Shaw, did much of the damage, scoring six of her 13 points during the run.
On the next possession senior forward Jazzmin Jackson, who along with Tierra Brown battled Shaw all night, scored on a 6-foot jumper and was fouled. She calmly sank the free throw to give Summit a 39-37 lead.
After getting a stop on defense, Summit went into stall mode but almost blew the game when an inbounds pass from Eli went through Jazzmin Jackson's hands into the lap of a Barbers Hill guard with 13 seconds remaining. Jackson redeemed herself by grabbing her 10th rebound on a missed shot by the Eagles with under 10 seconds left.