GLENVILLE, W.Va. — With 1:49 remaining in the first half of Saturday’s IOGA Tournament Class AAA championship between Parkersburg and George Washington, the Big Reds’ Madi Mace limped off the court with an injury.
At that time, Mace had scored 20 of her team’s 27 points and Parkersburg was clinging to a four-point lead.
Mace never returned from the injury, but it didn’t cost the Big Reds a tournament title, as they instead got increased production from the rest of the roster and held off the Patriots 64-58 at Glenville State’s Waco Center.
“We have a lot of talented kids and sometimes they won’t apply that unless they’re pushed to,” Parkersburg coach Scott Cozzens said.
Leading 30-26 at halftime, Parkersburg (5-0) came out like a team knowing it would need everybody to step up in Mace’s absence and reeled off a 6-0 run over the first 58 seconds of the third quarter on field goals from Maggie Richards, Maddi Leggett and Aleea Crites.
A layup by Shay Kirby a short time later stretched the lead to 40-28, though GW (1-1) stayed within striking distance thanks in large part to Katy Darnell, who scored 19 points and recorded her 1,000th career point with a jumper to close the third quarter scoring that trimmed the Big Reds lead to 51-41 after three quarters.
Leggett hit a key 3 with 5 minutes to play to up the Parkersburg lead to 58-46, and although the Patriots got to within 60-53 on a trey from Lauren Harmison, it was too little too late as the Big Reds comfortably held on from there.
Mace scored 15 of her 20 points in a dominant second quarter that saw the Big Reds overcome a 12-8 deficit to enter halftime with the four-point lead.
Leggett added 15 points and Richards scored 14 — all in the second half.
“We cause teams a lot of problems because you can’t just focus on Madi Mace,” Cozzens said. “We have some other weapons.”
Kalissa Lacy poured in 16 points in the losing effort, while Vivian Ho scored 11.