Prep girls basketball: Catholic defeats Jackets

WILLIAMSTOWN – Visiting Parkersburg Catholic, coming to life to snap a multiple-game losing streak for the second time this season, rolled out to a 16-point lead by halftime Thursday night, then fought off repeated Williamstown comeback efforts in the second half to register a 69-59 LKC North girls basketball victory. Catholic, now 3-10 overall, was paced point-wise by Reily Sturm with 21, followed by Alex Schaffer’s 19, Alexis Saunders’ 15 and Marijka Lynch-Pastoor’s 10.

For Williamstown, now 7-6 overall, Samantha Dedrick led with 20 points, while Ashley Morris netted 13, Cami Mossor tallied 10 and Melissa Cieslewski added eight.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, capped by a 6-0 Catholic run on successive hoops by Ellen Roedersheimer and Lynch-Pastoor and finally two foul shots by Sturm at 5.1 seconds to break a 13-all tie for a 19-13 lead, the Crusaderettes piled up a 24-14 point margin in the second stanza to surge into a 43-27 advantage at halftime.

The third period saw Catholic up its lead even further -to 21 at 52-31 at the 3:45 mark – before the host Yellowjackets finally got going.

A 9-0 spurt, keyed by a steal for a basket by Dedrick and Morris’ five points, three coming on a trey with 53.3 seconds left, shrank PC’s lead to just 12 at 52-40 before Rachel Gammon stemmed the tide by putting in a rebound bucket for the Crusaderettes to give them a 14-point bulge, 54-40, going to the final canto.

But Catholic scored the initial six points of the fourth quarter to make it a 20-point lead at 60-40 with 4:20 remaining before Williamstown got ramped up to rally behind Morris and Mossor to slice its deficit to only 12 at 64-52 with 1:27 to play.

The gap got even further reduced to 11 twice in the last 1:04 and then down to 10 in the final 10 seconds on a 3-ball by Dedrick before PC ran out the final few seconds on its arch-rival.

“It was a great win, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do,” said Catholic head coach Marty Vierheller. “Our girls know they can play and they know they can win, and they just went out and earned it tonight. We did tweak a couple things especially with our press offense, but really this game was all about heart,” coming just two weeks after a 91-75 home loss to Williamstown

For Williamstown head coach Fred Sauro, whose team was charged with 33 turnovers in the game, “it seemed like Catholic was able to drive to the basket all night long; they didn’t have to rely on any outside shooting at all. They were prepared for us this time. We did not play well, and you can attribute a lot of that to them.”