CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Summers County coach Chad Meador figured Parkersburg Catholic’s relentless fullcourt pressure defense would give the Bobcats fits in Wednesday’s Class A quarterfinal.
It turned out to be the difference in the game as the Crusaderettes scored 33 points off 35 Summers County turnovers, and rolled to a 70-54 victory at the Charleston Coliseum & Convention Center.
“We knew coming into this game Parkersburg Catholic’s pressure was outstanding and we saw that today,” Meador said.
Parkersburg Catholic (23-1) moves on to face No. 6 Trinity in a 9:30 a.m. quarterfinal Friday. The Warriors handed the Crusaderettes their only loss of the season to this point, 64-62, back on Dec. 22.
Summers County, which eliminated PC in a quarterfinal last season, made three 3-pointers in the first quarter to hold its own and trail 17-15 after eight minutes.
But Parkersburg Catholic clamped down on defense iun the second period, holding the Bobcats (16-10) to seven points to take a 30-22 lead into halftime.
“I’ve been around a lot of basketball teams in my day and this basketball team is beyond special,” PC coach Marty Vierheller said. “I cannot put into words how much these 13 girls mean to me and we came down last year and the quarterfinal game was not our night.
“We left Charleston with a bitter taste in our mouths after the beautiful regular season that we had. Our girls have been laser focused throughout the season and they’ve been incredibly unselfish.”
PC guard Madeline Huffman scored 11 of her game-high 27 points over the first two quarters, while Summers County committed 17 turnovers.
“We kind of got our feet under us and got the jitters out and realized what we came here to do,” Huffman said of her team’s strong second quarter. “We put our heads back on straight and kept going.”
Summers’ Taylor Isaac opened the third-quarter scoring with a 3, but PC answered with a 10-0 run to seize complete control.
Huffman scored five points during the decisive run, while Aaliyah Brunny contributed four.
The Bobcats never got closer than 13 the rest of the way and a layup by Paige Stotts with 1:52 to play in the third gave the Crusaderettes their biggest lead of the game to that point at 51-31.
“It definitely felt good to avenge that loss and realize we can come down here and win,” Huffman said. “It gave us a sense of reassurance that we’ve grown up a lot since last year.”
Huffman made 10-of-15 field goals and 4-of-7 3s in her game-high scoring effort, while Brunny added 20 points, seven steals, five assists and four blocks.
“Aaliyah is a once in a lifetime athlete,” Vierheller said.
Leslie Huffman contributed 12 points and six steals in the win.
Isaac made five 3s to lead Summers with 20 points, while Gavin Pivont added 18 points in defeat.
However, the Bobcats’ top two scorers combined for 27 turnovers.
“They definitely lived up to what they are,” Pivont said. “They’re one of the fastest teams we’ve played this season so hats off to them.”