CHARLESTON -It was all smiles for the Parkersburg South girls basketball team here Thursday night inside the Charleston Civic Center at the state tournament as the Patriots drilled Hedgesville, 67-39, in a Class AAA quarterfinal contest.
The third-seeded Patriots (18-7) of head coach Scott Stephens limited No. 6 seed Hedgesville to less than 23 percent shooting as the Eagles’ offensive output tied their lowest effort of the year.
While Keya Bartlett got things rolling by draining her first two 3s in a game during which the Patriots never trailed, Mykalyn Fallon’s bomb from a Lacey Cale assist with 82 seconds to play gave Parkersburg South its biggest lead at 67-37. Everything that took place in between was pretty much Patriot domination.
“We just played Parkersburg South basketball like we talked about the last few days,” said Patriot senior Miranda Workman, who had 10 points, eight boards, a block and a steal.
“We play our game and don’t worry about anything else.”
There was plenty for Hedgesville (18-8) to worry about just 13 ticks into the affair as Carlie Wilson found Bartlett wide open in the corner for the first of her five 3-pointers. Bartlett led all scorers with 30 points and had 15 in each half.
“I just had a good shooting night,” said Bartlett, who hit 10 of 19 from the field and 5 of 11 from 3-point land to go along with five boards, five assists and a game-high four steals.
Hedgesville leading scorer Kristen Nunn, who entered the game averaging better than 18 points, scored inside off an inbounds pass from Bianca Creamer at the 6:55 mark to make the score 3-2.
However, the Patriots got another corner trey from Bartlett, this one via an assist from Kayleigh Rexroad, and Workman then scored consecutive deuces and the rout was on at 10-2.
Parkersburg South, which squares off against No. 2 seed Morgantown at 9 p.m. today in the state semifinals, led 18-6 after one when Bartlett got a steal and an assist thanks to freshman Taryn McCutcheon’s lay-in just before the quarter buzzer sounded.
When Patriot Anna Hayton scored from the block midway through the second quarter the Eagles were in a 28-9 hole and trailed 35-17 at intermission. After Katelyn Byrd made a foul shot with 1:20 remaining in the third, PSHS had the Eagles doubled up, 50-25.
McCutcheon, who had 13 points, eight boards, a game-high eight assists and a trio of steals, held Nunn to just a dozen markers.
“You have to enjoy it in the moment, but you already have to get your mind ready for the next game and how you need to beat the next team,” McCutcheon said. “But, it’s an unbelievable experience right now. I’m living the dream.”
Creamer finished with 11 points for the Eagles, who turned the ball more than 20 times and lost the battle on the boards, 49-35.
Morgantown has defeated Parkersburg South both times this season (76-50 and 50-44), but the Patriots are hoping the third time proves to be the charm.
“I just think that it’s hard to beat a team three times so we’re just going to go out there, try our hardest and try to get that win,” Bartlett added.