Balanced attack leads St. Marys past ‘Jackets

WILLIAMSTOWN – Third-ranked Class A St. Marys was challenged for most of the game here Tuesday night, but No. 9 Williamstown didn’t have enough as the Yellowjackets dropped a 65-52 Little Kanawha Conference North Division contest versus the Blue Devils.

St. Marys head coach Howard Meeks’ squad placed all five starters in double figures, led by Abbi Fetty’s 16 points, as the Blue Devils improved to 14-1 overall and 9-0 in the LKC North.

Kenzie Smith dropped in a game-high 20 points and grabbed 10 boards to finish with a double-double for the Yellowjackets, who shot just 31.1 percent from the floor and missed 11 of 16 from the foul line.

Lauren Amos’ deuce gave the hosts a 2-0 cushion and Kathleen Cornell, who added a dozen markers, hit a 3-pointer for a 5-2 lead early on. However, Fetty tallied seven straight points and after a Kendra Walker putback it was 11-7. Carley Ellison hit a leaner in the lane to cut the deficit 13-11 after one, but the last time the ‘Jackets had it back at a two-point deficit was with 44 seconds left in the half at 23-21 following another Cornell bomb.

Fetty’s three-point play and Dani Moore’s trifecta allowed the visitors to open the second period strong and WHS (7-7, 6-3) trailed 26-21 at intermission when Mikaela Britton closed the first-half scoring with a wide open trifecta. Britton finished with 12 points.

Audra Clark, who posted a double-double of 12 points and 11 caroms, had a pair of hoops during St. Marys’ 19-6 run to start the third quarter. Moore, who tallied 10 points, hit two 3s in the spurt and the ‘Jackets still trailed 48-35 after Smith knocked down a trey to end the third quarter scoring.

Thanks in part to five points from Brooke Cieslewski, which included a layup via a Jessie Kerns assist, the ‘Jackets were able to cut the deficit to 52-44 with 5:38 to go, but never managed to get the affair back to a two possession game.

Along with scoring 10 points and hauling down nine boards, Walker blocked five shots.

St. Marys will look to clinch the top spot in the LKC North when it plays Thursday at Ritchie County.

The Yellowjackets, who lost 108-69 at St. Marys earlier this year, will try to get back above the .500 plateau when coach Fred Sauro’s girls invade Parkersburg Catholic on Friday.