’Jackets win in OT

WILLIAMSTOWN – It seemed only fitting that Parkersburg Catholic and Williamstown, the fifth and sixth teams respectively in the girls Class A basketball poll, should go to overtime to decide their LKC North game Friday night.

In the extra four-minute session, the host Yellowjackets snapped a 55-all tie with three free throws in the final 30 seconds to garner a 58-55 victory over a Crusaderette squad had to go to double overtime to secure a win at Ritchie County just a night earlier.

The triumph squared Williamstown’s record at just 4-4 overall, but improved the ‘Jackets’ LKC North mark to 4-1, while the setback left PC at 6-3 overall and 4-2 in the LKC North.

Catholic got rolling five minutes into the first quarter, breaking a 8-8 tie on a trey by Leah Hughes followed by baskets by Reily Sturm and Maddie Roedersheimer to move ahead 15-8 at 1:20.

But then Williamstown responded with a full-court trap defense that forced Catholic into a number of turnovers -and resulting Yellowjacket field goals – in a 23-5 spurt that culminated in an 11-point lead, 31-20, by 3:12 of the second stanza.

After PC cut the gap to 31-25, Cami Mossor hit a foul-line jumper with 3.1 seconds left in the first half to give Williamstown a 33-25 lead at intermission.

Catholic, though, came out ready to play in the second half, and – behind Leah Hughes who tallied 14 of her game-high 23 points in the third and fourth quarters -outscored the ‘Jackets 25-17 to force overtime at 50-all.

But it took a final five-point push in regulation by the Crusaderettes on a basket by Hughes and Alex Schaffer’s three-point play with 2:06 left to make it 50-50.

In the four-minute overtime period, Williamstown took control in the initial 33 seconds on Kathleen Cornell’s rebound bucket and then Brooke Cieslewski’s 3-ball for a 55-50 lead.

But resilient Catholic rallied again on a basket by Reily Sturm, free throw by Roedersheimer and Hughes’ hoop to knot the count at 55-all at 1:28.

However, Kenzie Smith’s foul shot at 28.5 seconds and two more charity tosses by Sami Rea with 14 seconds remaining gave the ‘Jackets their winning margin.

Smith’s 19 points led Williamstown, with Cornell adding 10 and Carley Ellison eight.

After Hughes for PC were Sturm with 13 points, Roedersheimer with nine and Schaffer with seven.

Williamstown head coach Fred Sauro thought his ”kids’ mental toughness” contributed to the win. ”And they get right after it too, and have a very good winning attitude.”

For Catholic head coach Marty Vierheller, he thought his team’s ”decision-making” when Williamstown went to its press in the first half ”was not what it could have been, but,” he promised, ”it’s also not what it will be.”