CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Class A defending state champion St. Joseph Central made quick work of No. 8 Charleston Catholic on Thursday, picking up a 67-18 girls basketball quarterfinal win from the Charleston Civic Center.
“We hit some 3s early, got some steals, got some easy buckets and got out to a nice lead,” said St. Joe head coach Shannon Lewis. “We subbed a little bit, got a little out of sync, but we were still playing pretty good defense. We just have to keep the flow going and not get individualized, make sure everybody gets involved.”
St. Joe (18-7), going for a ninth state championship in 10 years, scored 35 points off of 33 forced turnovers.
“Bailee (Adkins) gets her hands on a lot of balls, Dena (Jarrells) has a lot of quickness and Paige (Shy) is long,” Lewis said. “It’s about denying and getting in position to get the trap and jump to the ball wherever it goes.
“We can get even more athletic – we have some really athletic kids who fly around,” he continued. “A team that struggles a little bit with ball handling, obviously we’re going to give them some difficulties.”
Senior Haylee Hunter had nine steals individually and Adkins collected six steals.
Jarrells led the Irish with 19 points in the win, while Shy scored 16 points and Askins collected 11 points.
St. Joe defensively surrendered just six points in the first quarter, four in the second quarter, three in the third and five points in the fourth.
Charleston Catholic (11-14) went 8 of 36 from the floor for 22 percent.
“They’re an extremely talented team and very skilled in a lot of different positions,” said Charleston Catholic coach Wes Hevener. “We knew it was going to be a tough matchup. All five positions can score the basketball.
“We’ve played some pretty good teams from a pressure standout, but they are long, athletic and extremely quick,” Hevener said. “It’s a little harder to simulate in practice. Their length hurt us more than anything.”
Hannah Rahin led Charleston Catholic with eight points in the loss.
St. Joe moves on to face either Parkersburg Catholic or Summers County Friday night at 7:15 p.m. in the Class A semifinals.
“I think for the most part we’re pretty focused,” Lewis said. “We’re doing what we need to do, but I’m always trying to push them to continue to do better because obviously it’s going to continue to get tougher.”