WILLIAMSTOWN - The semifinal games at the 18th annual Donnie Fenton Shootout Friday night at Williamstown High School were as good as advertised.
In a rematch of last year's Class A state title game, four-time defending champion Huntington St. Joseph received 22 points from Mychal Johnson in a 47-39 victory against Wheeling Central.
In the nightcap, Williamstown fell behind by 12 points midway in the first quarter but its tenacity made it anything but comfortable for last year's Class AA state runner-up Scott. The Skyhawks survived for a 69-66 victory only after the Yellowjackets missed a pair of 3-point attempts while trying to tie the game in the final 26 seconds.
JEFF BAUGHAN Special to The Times
Williamstown’s Kathleen Cornell (22) and Carley Ellison (14) have Scott’s Landyn McKinney well-defended during the Fenton Shootout Friday night.
"Our kids showed a lot of heart and a lot of guts," Williamstown coach Fred Sauro said.
Today's 1 p.m. consolation game pits Wheeling Central (1-1) against Williamstown (1-1), while St. Joseph (2-0) and Scott (2-0) will square off in a championship game slated for a 2:30 p.m. start.
St.Joseph 47, Wheeling Central 39
Scott 69, Williamstown 66
Scott 20 17 14 18 - 69
Williamstown 12 23 15 16 - 66
Jaimee Dotson 7-21 1-4 16, Alison Whitman 5-13 0-0 10, Julie Conway 6-19 0-0 13, Landyn McKinney 5-11 2-4 12, Andrea Rankin 7-11 2-2 16, Jessy Blankenship 0-0 0-0 0, Courtney Goodwin 0-0 0-0 0, Victoria Ellis 1-2 0-0 2, Carolyn Greene 0-1 0-0 0. TOTALS 31-78 5-10 69. 3-point goals: Dotson 1, Conway 1.
Jessie Kerns 1-6 2-4 4, Kenzie Smith 8-29 5-8 23, Carley Ellison 2-10 0-0 4, Brooke Cieslewski 2-14 2-2 7, Lauren Amos 2-10 4-8 8, Kathleen Cornell 2-10 3-4 8, Sami Rea 2-6 0-0 5, Cami Mossor 1-2 0-0 2, Andrea Chidester 1-2 0-0 2, Allie Robinson 1-1 1-2 3. TOTALS 22-90 17-28 66. 3-point goals: Smith 2, Cieslewski 1, Cornell 1, Rea 1.
Rebounds: Scott 70 (Whitman 20); Williamstown 52 (Smith 10, Ellison 10). Assists: Scott 14 (Conway 4); Williamstown 11 (Cieslewski 3). Steals: Scott 10 (Dotson 4); Williamstown 31 (Smith 6). Turnovers: Scott 33, Williamstown 17.
Next game: Donnie Fenton Shootout at Williamstown High School, today. Consolation: Wheeling Central vs. Williamstown, 1 p.m.; Championship: Huntington St. Joseph vs. Scott, 2:30 p.m.
St. Joseph limited Wheeling Central to one field goal during a nine-minute stretch in the second half and pulled away from the Maroon Knights for the 47-39 victory.
After the two teams exchanged a series of 3-pointers midway in the third quarter, St. Joseph went on an 8-0 run and led 37-29 heading into the fourth period. Johnson accounted for six points, including three free throws with no time remaining.
With starters Asia Petitte and Johnson both hampered with four personal fouls in the final quarter, Wheeling Central whittled away at the deficit and trimmed the gap to 40-37 at the 3:16 mark behind seven points from Colleen McCormick.
An offensive putback by Johnson ignited a seven-point surge by the Irish, which was capped by Johnson's baseball pass assist to freshman Mychelle Johnson which left Wheeling Central trailing 47-37 with just 1:10 remaining in regulation.
Petitte added 14 points for the Irish, while McCormick led the Maroon Knights with 22 points and 18 rebounds. Teammate Emily Bucon, who will be playing at West Liberty University next season, connected on just 1-of-13 attempts from the floor and finished with just three points.
"I have a lot of confidence with Mychal on the floor that we are not going to turn it over, so when she did pick up that fourth foul Wheeling Central did a nice job of pressuring us," St. Joseph coach Shannon Lewis said. "We just had to finish there at the end."
Wheeling Central scored the first four points of the game before St. Joseph wrapped up the first quarter with 10 unanswered points on the strength of four steals by Johnson. The Maroon Knights never led again but did pull even on three occasions in the third quarter.
"They had us a little out of synch in that first quarter and that was really the difference in the game - we just didn't get over the edge," Wheeling Central coach Penn Kurtz said. "It's tough to recover against them. They can spread the floor out and spread the ball, and penetrate to the basket while also taking time off the clock."
Scott 69, Williamstown 66
Williamstown trailed by as many as eight points with only a minute and a half remaining in the fourth quarter. But in the next 39 seconds, the Yellowjackets reeled off seven straight points to the tie the game at 66 on a Brooke Ciewslewski 3-pointer followed by a pair of steals which resulted in two Kenzie Smith layups.
Scott's Jaimee Dotson missed the front-end of a one-and-one with 28 seconds showing but the Skyhawks retained possession on the offensive rebound and Dotson eventually scored off an assist from Alison Whitman at 26 seconds.
Scott, which turned the ball over 33 times, was able to weather two missed 3-point attempts from Williamstown on the next trip downcourt.
Dotson and Andrea Rankin both finished with 16 points as the starting five for Scott all scored in double figures. Whitman pulled down 20 rebounds to go with her 10 points.
Smith finished with a team-high 23 points for a Williamstown squad which recorded 31 steals.
Scott opened the game hitting eight of its first nine shots from the floor while building a 16-4 lead. Williamstown, on the other hand, made just 3-of-23 from the floor while falling behind 20-12 at the end of the first quarter.
By halftime, the Scott advantage was just two at 37-35.
"At halftime, I told the girls I didn't go up and down, up and down - I wanted to walk it up, but you can't against Williamstown," Scott coach John Porter said.