"I threw up, if that tells you anything," the 5-foot-4 all-state player said with a smile.
As it turned out, maybe she didn't need to be so nervous. Top-ranked Woodland put together a clean performance in a 63-53 win over No. 3 North Sand Mountain. Strain led the way with 29 points as she had her teammates combined for only one turnover.
"We put five guards on the floor," said Strain's father and coach, Woodland's Larry Strain. "The key to our success is handling the basketball."
Shalyn Strain, Leah's cousin, aded 13 points, and Jaide Walker had 10. Hannah Vest's 19 points led North Sand Mountain (29-4).
Woodland (31-2) will play in the regional final Thursday at 3 p.m. against either Sand Rock or Lanett.
Sports Editor Mark Edwards: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @MarkSportsStar.