CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Class A No. 5 Summers County handed No. 4 Parkersburg Catholic its first loss of the season and eliminated the Crusaders in the quarterfinal round of the state tournament on Thursday night 69-67.
Hannah Taylor was dominant at times for the Bobcats (18-7), finishing with a double-double of 22 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks, four assists and three steals – all while battling foul trouble throughout the night.
“I just had to play a softer defense and keep my hands up, hoping they wouldn’t call a foul on me,” Taylor said. “We know that everyone who makes it to the state tournament is a good team. We had to play outstanding defense and work together – we did that and pulled out the win.”
The up-tempo game featured runs for each team, but ultimately was even throughout. Summers County led 37-31 at the half and 51-47 heading into the fourth quarter.
An 8-2 run midway through the fourth quarter eventually put the Bobcats up 61-51 and ultimately was the difference in the game.
“We had to just keep at it and do what we do,” said Summers County coach Chad Meador. “We called a timeout and our point of emphasis was to take care of the basketball. We wanted to get back on defense and try to limit them to just one shot.”
Parkersburg Catholic (24-1) rallied with a run of its own in the final two minutes, closing to within one possession on multiple possessions.
A bucket from Jenna Boice closed the Crusaders’ deficit to 69-67 – the game’s final score – but it came with just 1.2 seconds left on the clock as the Bobcats held on for the win.
Taylor Isaac finished behind Taylor in scoring for Summers County, totaling 15 points, while Tiffani Cline added 11 points and Gavin Pivont scored 10 points in the win.
Madeline Huffman led Parkersburg Catholic with 23 points, while Aaliyah Brunny scored 17 points and Olivia Ullman totaled 11 points.
“They’ve given everything,” said Parkersburg Catholic coach Marty Vierheller. “I think they left their hearts and guts out on that floor. I have never been more proud of a group of girls in my entire life.
“I thought our girls handled the environment and the situation splendidly,” he continued. “I’ve seen teams come down here with the environment, and the moment is just too big for them, and they absolutely implode – this team didn’t do that.”
The two teams combined for 41 turnovers – 22 by Summers County and 19 from Parkersburg Catholic.
The Bobcats move on to face No. 1 and defending state champion St. Joseph Central on Friday night at 7:15 p.m. in the semifinals.
“We’re going to be here tomorrow at 7:15,” Meador said. “We’re going to put a product on the floor and we’re going to do the best we can.”