No one could fault the Floyd County High School varsity girls’ basketball team for their slow start Saturday night in a state quarterfinal game against Wise County’s J.J. Kelly High School in Christiansburg Saturday night. Not after an emotional week when three-year-old Joshua Cantrell lost his battle with a brain tumor.

But even after missing shot after shot and losing the ball too many times to an aggressive defense from Kelly, the Lady Buffaloes held an eight-point lead at half time and then blew the game open in the third quarter before cruising to an 83-45 victory.

Joshua’s father, Travis Cantrell, joined his father Alan on the bench for the first time since December as the team displayed its usual second-half explosive play and put the game away in a Christiansburg High School gym packed with Floyd Countians.

Now it’s off to Richmond Thursday as the Lady Buffs face Stonewall Jackson in the state semi-final in a 2 p.m. game. A win there sends them to the championship game at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center.

See you there.