CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Top ranked Huntington rolled to a 57-34 win over No. 8 Spring Mills Wednesday evening, advancing to Friday’s girls basketball state tournament Class AAA semifinals.
The two teams combined for just nine points in the first quarter as Huntington led 7-2 – a slow start offensively that ultimately didn’t hurt the Highlanders.
“We started out pretty slow,” said Huntington coach Lonnie Lucas. “We forced several turnovers, but we just didn’t capitalize off of them – didn’t score. Normally we get a lot of points off of turnovers. Either we were doing something wrong or they were doing something right – we weren’t converting them into baskets.”
Still, Huntington (23-3) had little trouble, holding a 21-10 lead at the half and a 38-19 lead going into the fourth. The Highlanders only shot 31 percent from the floor, but held Spring Mills to just 28 percent on the night.
“We settled down in the third quarter and started playing like we are supposed to play,” Lucas said. “Defensively, the first half was fine. Anytime a team only scores 10 points on you, somebody is doing something right.
Jordyn Dawson led the Highlanders with 23 points in the win, while Mariah Harmon added 15 points and Lexi Sheffield scored nine points. Spring Mills (17-9) was led by Sydney Shaw’s 14 points.
Huntington scored 21 points off of 22 Spring Mills’ turnovers and out-rebounded the Cardinals 43-29.
It was Spring Mills’ first trip to the state tournament, while Huntington has been looking to avenge its title-game loss from a season ago.
“We’re pleased to be here,” Lucas added. “We stressed the fact all week that (Spring Mills) might be the eighth ranked team, but when you get here, everybody’s pretty good. We’re pleased to win and move on.”
The Highlanders will face either South Charleston or Parkersburg in Friday’s semifinals at 5:30 p.m.