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Morgantown savoring upset win over South in 3A state finals

By Paul Adkins

March 18, 2014

CHARLESTON (AP) — Olivia Seggie scored 14 points and Morgantown took advantage of an early game-ending injury to Parkersburg South leading scorer Keya Bartlett to upset the defending champion Patriots 46-39 for the girls Class AAA championship Saturday night.


Sixth-seeded Morgantown (18-8) earned the fifth state title in school history and its first since 2007. The Mohigans also avenged three losses to Parkersburg South earlier this year and ended the Patriots’ perfect season.


Bartlett sustained a severe cut to the head when she collided with Morgantown’s Maria Williams going after a loose ball in the first quarter. She didn’t return.


Taryn McCutcheon scored 16 points for top-seeded Parkersburg South (25-1). The Patriots led 28-24 at halftime but were limited to 11 points in the second half.


Brie Giuliani added 10 points for Morgantown.


Trailing at halftime, Morgantown’s Rachel Laskody capped a 12-2 run with a basket off a rebound to give the Mohigans a 36-30 lead with 2:17 left in the third quarter.


McCutcheon brought Parkersburg South back with a layup and a free throw to trim the deficit to 36-35 with 7:04 left in the game, but the Patriots never retook the lead.


Midway through the first quarter, Bartlett, a junior, lay on the court for several minutes as medical personnel attended to her. She was taken to the bench for additional observation before leaving the court. She remained on the bench after halftime.


The loss of Bartlett, who averaged 18.5 points in Parkersburg South’s two previous tournament games, was huge, although Parkersburg South was able to keep the momentum for most of the first half.


It was up to a sophomore-dominated lineup to carry on for the Patriots.


Sophomore Laken Valentine, who went 0-for-4 from the floor in a quarterfinal win over Hamphire and didn’t play in the semifinals against Martinsburg, made a layup to start the fourth quarter, and junior Katelyn Enoch scored her only basket of the game with 1:30 left to bring Parkersburg South within 42-39.


But the Patriots didn’t score again. Laskody and Seggie each sank a pair of free throws for the final margin.


The game started with Parkersburg South in full control. McCutcheon scored eight points in the first quarter to put the Patriots ahead by eight before Morgantown came roaring back.


Sammie Parks started and finished a 12-2 run with 3-pointers — her only field goals of the game — that put the Mohigans ahead 23-21 midway through the second quarter.


Parkersburg South regained the lead entering the second half but made just two field goals in the third quarter. McCutcheon, who went 6-of-17 from the floor, was limited to three points in the second half.


Class A Final


Huntington St. Joe 83,


St. Marys 48


CHARLESTON (AP) — Griffin Dempsey scored 30 points as St. Joseph beat St. Marys 83-48 Saturday for its sixth consecutive girls Class A basketball championship.


Rachel Lee added 21 points and 10 rebounds, Mychal Johnson had 15 points and nine assists and Asia Petitte scored 13 for the Irish (23-3), who made their claim as the best program in girls state history.


St. Joseph broke the all-classes mark for state titles that it shared with Class AA’s Summers County, which won five straight from 2007-11. The boys team from Northfork holds the overall mark of eight straight won from 1974-81.


St. Marys (24-2) had 23 turnovers and lost to St. Joseph for the fourth time in the championship game since 2010.


Ashley Hall led St. Marys with 17 points. Kendra Walker, who averaged 19 points and 13 rebounds in two earlier tournament games, had nine points and 14 rebounds Saturday.


Unlike the semifinals, when St. Joseph struggled to take control until late in the second period, the Irish had the momentum from the start in the championship game.


St. Joseph raced to a 21-7 lead after the first quarter and led 42-18 at halftime.


The Irish had 10 3-pointers in the first half alone and finished with a tournament-record 17, breaking the mark of 11 it set in the semifinals.


Mychal Johnson, who has signed to play next season at Notre Dame, left the game early in the second quarter after getting hit in the midsection. Her sister, Mychelle, went to the bench to have her right shin wrapped in ice in the third quarter. Both returned to the game.


St. Joseph just kept on going, winning for the 73rd straight time against in-state competition. The last loss to a West Virginia school came to Wheeling Central in the 2008 championship game.


One by one, St. Joseph coach Shannon Lewis hugged his starters one final time as they were taken out of the game in the closing minutes as the St. Joseph fans yelled “Thank you, seniors.”


The Irish bid goodbye to six of them and will be challenged to push its run to seven straight titles next year. Mychelle Johnson, a sophomore, is the team’s top returning scorer at about 5 points per game.