Prep girls basketball: St. Marys clinches share of LKC North

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg Catholic picked the wrong poison.

Thursday night at Parkersburg Catholic High School, the Crusaderettes were intent on taking away St. Marys’ post game but neglected to defend the Blue Devils’ perimeter shooting and lost 73-25.

Ashley Hall was the main culprit for St. Marys as the sophomore connected on 7-of-12 from 3-point range and finished with a game-high 27 points to go with 10 rebounds, three steals and a pair of assists.

“In terms of picking your poison, I used that exact terminology as we prepared for this game,” PCHS coach Marty Vierheller said as his ballclub slipped to 4-13 and 3-6 in the North Division of the Little Kanawha Conference. “Our plan was to deal with Kendra (Walker) and Ashley.”

Second-ranked St. Marys knocked down a total of nine 3-pointers while staying unbeaten at 14-0 and 9-0 in the division. The conference win also secured at least a share of the North Division title for the Blue Devils – their sixth in a row.

Despite a 10-day layoff between games, St. Marys coach Howard Meeks wanted to make sure his girls played with a passion. And his team answered the bell by pulling out to a 43-11 lead at intermission.

“I expected a little bit of a switchup and do some of the things (coach Vierheller) did in the second half at our place,” St. Marys coach Howard Meeks said. “They really took Kendra out of her game a lot. It’s just that other girls really stepped up tonight.

“He probably didn’t expect us to shoot 8-of-11 from 3-point land in the first half.”

St. Marys muddled its way to a 10-6 late into the first quarter despite sending PCHS to the free-throw line eight times. A pair of treys from Hall along with a couple of assists from Mikaela Britton resulted in 10 unanswered points to end the period and move the Blue Devils in front 20-6.

“What hurt us early -we did some good things and got ourselves to the foul line, but we didn’t capitalize,” Vierheller said. “In terms of our emotion, it was like a letdown even though we were doing things right.

“We weren’t rewarded on the scoreboard and when things went south, they went south in a hurry.”

St. Marys carried the momentum in the second quarter and outscored the Crusaderettes 16-2 in the first six minutes. Just as she did in the first quarter, Hall made three more 3-pointers in the second quarter and had 18 points by the break.

In the second half, the Blue Devils finally looked to pound the ball inside to Walker and she responded with 10 of her 16 points. The 6-foot-4 senior also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds.

PCHS was winning the third quarter 8-7 in the first five minutes before St. Marys rattled off seven of the next nine points for a 57-21 advantage. The run continued with seven straight points to open the fourth quarter.

“I think we worked well as a team tonight,” Walker said. “It’s a wonderful relief having someone like Ashley on the floor. We can go from outside to inside, and you can’t really stop it. It’s a good thing to have.”

Also scoring in double figures for St. Marys was Jordan Fox with 10 points. Fox and Britton both dished out five assists.

Leading PCHS in the scoring column were Alex Schaffer and Abby Witucky, both with six points. Witucky also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.