CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The 29th consecutive win for the top-seeded Parkersburg South girls was a breeze thanks to a 32-1 first-half run and their pressure defense that overwhelmed No. 8 Hampshire 80-33 in the Class AAA quarterfinals.
“We started out the game really hard, and then I don’t know what happened—we relaxed,” Parkersburg South coach Scott Stephens said. “Then after the (first) quarter break we came out and kind of put things out of reach with ball pressure and defense.”
South’s 26 steals tied a Class AAA state tournament record and the Patriots converted 44 points off 37 Hampshire turnovers.
Taryn McCutcheon did all of her work—16 points on 7-of-10 shooting—in the first half for Parkersburg South (24-0), before suffering an asthma attack.
“She’ll be alright. She gets congested and can’t breathe,” Stephens said. “This is like the third time it’s happened this season. She’ll be fine.”
Anna Hayton added 12 points and Keya Bartlett had 10 in three quarters of work.
“I know when Taryn gets sick I have to take the leadership, because she’s a good ballhandler,” Bartlett said. “When she’s out I know it’s my time to be a leader and make sure everyone knows what they’re doing.”
Carlie Wilson narrowly missed a triple-double with eight points and a game-high 14 rebounds and nine steals.
“I just crashed the boards hard and tried to play the best defense I could,” Wilson said.
The Trojans (12-12) were led by Emilynn Corbin’s 14 points, while Ericka Gordon added seven in the loss.
“I normally don’t play that well,” Corbin said. “I tried to stay focused and stay strong mentally, because I can get inside my head sometimes. I’m proud of my team for getting to state and we told ourselves we were going to have our best night regardless what happens.”
This was the Trojans’ first state tournament trip since 2000 and with the nucleus of the team returning, the future looks bright for a return.
“This was a wonderful experience not only for our players, but for our school and community,” Hampshire coach Al Starley said. “We’re going to try to build on this experience and try to make it here more often.”
South shot 40 percent from the field and out-rebounded Hampshire 46-31. The Patriots made 29 total field goals while the Trojans only attempted 31 going 12-31 from the field.
“We played down here a few weeks ago and I think that helped out and our experience from last year,” Stephens said. “I think we can shoot a little better, I didn’t think we shot that well from behind the arc.”