Prep girls basketball: Jackets top PC, 62-44

WILLIAMSTOWN – A 39-14 second half in Williamstown’s favor propelled the host Yellowjackets from seven points down at halftime to a 62-44 victory over Parkersburg Catholic in a Class A Region IV, Section 1 girls basketball semifinal Tuesday night.

Williamstown, the No. 2 sectional seed with a 15-7 record, will now face top seed Gilmer County at Glenville in the sectional finals at 7 p.m. Friday.

But the ‘Jackets didn’t salt away Tuesday’s win until the fourth quarter, after going into the final eight minutes of play knotted up at 37.

With the score 39-all, Williamstown’s Breeann Reynolds canned a trey from out front to the right at 7:10, then connected on another 3-ball from the same spot at 6:15 to give the ‘Jackets a 45-39 lead. Then Reynolds, a freshman, hit a free throw and had a steal at 4:54 that led to a Williamstown foul shot for a 47-41 lead.

And from that juncture on, the Yellowjackets went on to tally 15 of the last 18 points in the game, as the Crusaderettes, playing with only seven girls, really began to wear down in the last five minutes of the game.

Ashley Morris, another Williamstown freshman, led the ‘Jackets with 16 points, followed by Samantha Dedrick with 13, Reynolds and Melissa Cieslewski with 10 points each, and Courtney Dotson with nine.

For Catholic, concluding its season with an 8-16 mark, freshman Alexis Saunders netted 17 points, while Alex Schaffer collected 14 and still another frosh in Abby Witucky added eight.

After an early 2-0 deficit, Williamstown ran off the next 10 points, with Morris getting three baskets in the spurt. But Catholic rallied to notch seven of the last 10 points in the period to close the gap to 13-9 at the quarter break.

The second stanza saw the Crusaderettes continue their surge, outpointing the Yellowjackets 21-10. A personal 8-0 run by Saunders took Catholic from a point down to seven up at 24-17 with 3:33 to go in the first half. And PC held that seven-point lead at 30-23 at intermission.

But Williamstown made up that seven-point difference in the third quarter with a 14-7 point advantage.

“We were trying to jam it inside early and that wasn’t helping us at all,” said Williamstown head coach Fred Sauro.

“So at halftime, I told our girls just to do what we’ve always done – move the ball and get good shots – and that’s what Breeann and Samantha both did, which really helped us.”

“No lead is safe when you’re playing Williamstown,” said Catholic head coach Marty Vierheller.

“But I’m so proud of my girls and the effort they gave.

“They went against all odds all year, including tonight in this gym against a really good team and a super coach, and gave us everything that they had.”