CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Notre Dame completed its blitz through the Class A boys basketball tournament on Saturday, capturing its first state championship with a 63-55 win over Ravenswood.
The win for Notre Dame (23-5) ended a string of crushing state tournament losses from the previous couple of seasons.
“To come down here and lose the way we lost (the last two years), it stings,” West said. “When that final buzzer went off, and to know that we finally finished – and to do it with your son, it’s amazing.”
The former WVU standout West had said all season it was ‘ring or bust’ for his group, led by his son, Jarrod West, Jr.
“I’m not saying it because he’s my son, but it couldn’t happen to a better kid and I’m not even talking about basketball,” West said. “This surpasses my shot I hit in 1998.”
It was the Marshall signee, West, Jr., again leading the way for the Irish, finishing with 29 points on Saturday. It followed up his 35-point effort in the semifinals Friday.
“I can’t believe that I just played my last high school game,” West, Jr. said. “But it couldn’t have ended any better. I had a great start to my career, coming down here and being able to play – but we couldn’t get it done (previous seasons). But being able to finish it off has been the goal for I don’t know how many years.
“We woke up this morning knowing we were playing in the state championship game. We knew what we had to do,” he continued. “It’s a great feeling. I’m playing with my best friends and it couldn’t be any better with this group of guys. We weren’t going to settle for anything less than this.”
The Irish Saturday set the tone immediately, using a 10-0 start and another 10-2 run to take a 24-14 lead into the second quarter.
Overall, Notre Dame hit 13 of its first 18 shots and 7 of its first 10 shots from 3, stretching its lead out to 43-21 going into the break behind West’s 16 points. West hit 6 of 8 shots in the first half, including a perfect 4 for 4 effort from 3.
“We just came out with a lot of energy,” West, Jr. said. “We were really excited to play in this game, but we knew we weren’t finished yet and we had business to take care of. We came out with a lot of energy, took good shots and played in transition. Our defense set the tone for the game.”
The Red Devils outscored Notre Dame 17-8 in the third, cutting the Irish lead to 51-38 entering the fourth. A 3 from Ravenswood’s Jayden Rhodes cut Notre Dame’s lead to single digits, 58-51, with 1:26 to go – but the Red Devils’ halftime hole was too much to overcome.
Overall, Notre Dame scored 27 points off of 15 Ravenswood turnovers. Gabe Zummo added 15 points for the Irish in the win.
Ravenswood (24-3) was led by Riley Heatherington who scored 25 points in the loss.
“All you can ask for an opportunity, that’s all you need,” said Ravenswood coach Mick Price. “Anything can happen. I’m really proud of them. We have a good team and a good group of kids.”
West and Zummo both made the all-tournament team for Notre Dame, along with Ravenswood’s Heatherington and Isaiah Morgan. Madonna’s Tavon Jeter and Joey Ewusiak also made the team, while Wheeling Central’s Brent Price and Owen Gainer were named as well.