MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Facing a Fairmont Senior team that prides itself on aggressive play, University senior Ashten Boggs figured the Hawks would need to match it to be successful in Thursday’s matchup.
Boggs took care of that herself and consistently hurt the opposition with penetration in a 36-point outing that helped the Hawks down the Polar Bears, 67-56.
“My team knows I’m the one to attack the basket. That’s my game and what I want to do,” Boggs said. “When we have refs that let us play, I have to go ten times stronger like I did tonight.”
Boggs scored 18 points in each half and her 11 points in the first quarter helped stake University (13-7) to a 17-12 advantage.
The Hawks never trailed again and upped the advantage to 25-15 at the 4:47 mark of the second on Lauren Dean’s layup.
After falling behind by 11 later in the frame, the Polar Bears (16-4) got a pair of three-pointers from Marley Washenitz and a triple from Bekah Jenkins during a 9-2 surge that cut their deficit to 30-26.
But Dean and Boggs accounted for the final field goals of the opening half to send UHS into the break with an eight-point lead. Although both teams finished with 16 turnovers, FSHS had 11 at halftime compared to University’s six.
“We’ve been talking all week about preparing for sectionals and a run at the end,” Hawks’ head coach David Price said. “We needed to elevate our game and against a very aggressive team we took care of the ball a lot better than we have in the past. We did the things that it takes to win a big game.”
The Hawks held a 46-36 lead in the third quarter following Mallory Napolillo’s layup, but Washenitz and Morgan Lilley combined to score the next six points to bring FSHS to within four.
UHS took a 51-44 lead into the fourth quarter and never let the Polar Bears get closer than six the rest of the way.
Boggs made a layup, followed by 1-of-2 free throws to up her team’s lead top 58-49 with 2:33 to play. Emily Sharkey followed with a layup to make it an 11-point game, and after Washenitz connected from beyond the arc, Boggs went 6-of-6 from the line the rest of the way to put the game out of reach.
“You can’t poke. You have to sit down on defense and contest,” Polar Bears’ head coach Corey Hines said. “A lot of times we put them in situations where we let them get too deep. You let teams with their size get too deep and they hit the boards, it’s tough. You have to box out and meet their toughness. They were toughness than us this evening.”
Boggs made 10-of-19 fied goals and 15-of-21 free throws, while also contributing 11 rebounds and four assists.
“I had to do all things on point tonight for us to get a big win,” Boggs said.
Dean scored 11 points and Abbie Coen followed with nine in the win.
Washentiz led Fairmont Senior with 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists before fouling out with 1:04 left.
The Hawks shot better than 52 percent (24-of-46) in the victory.