Lady Eagles soar: Belpre runs past Parkersburg Catholic girls 66-43

PARKERSBURG – From down 6-0 to start the game, visiting Belpre outscored Parkersburg Catholic 66-43 the rest of the way as the Golden Eagles soared to a 66-49 girls basketball win over the host Crusaderettes Friday night.

The victoty improved Belpre to 14-2 on the season, with its only two losses coming at the hands of TVC powers Eastern and Waterford. The Golden Eagles play host to Eastern today, with the JV game at 11 a.m. followed by the varsity contest.

For Catholic, now 4-12, which had won two out of its last three outings, Reily Sturm tallied 18 points, Alexis Saunders 12 and Alex Schaffer 10.

But Belpre countered with four cagers in double figures – led by Sierra Barker with 22, Katelyn Hughes with 13, and 10 each by Cheyenne Barker and Jackie Cunningham – as well as eight from Hannah Lawrentz.

After a Sturm trey and Saunders’ three-point play in the first minute and a half, the Golden Eagles notched the next six points – four by Hughes – to pull even at the 4:49 mark of the opening period.

But then Schaffer scored seven points in an 8-1 run to propel PC ahead by 14-7 with 2:11 left in the first, only to have Belpre rally back with a 7-2 run in the last l:52 up to the quarter break, narrowing the Golden Eagles’ deficit to 16-14.

The second stanza saw Belpre zoom on top from 18-14 behind into leads of 22-18 and 26-20 by 4:12 of the period, and ended the first half with a 31-27 point advantage.

The Crusaderettes, though, continued to hang in there in the third quarter until Belpre bagged back-to-back treys by Cunningham and Sierra Barker for a 11-point bulge, 41-30, at 5:12. The gap went to 13 at 43-30 a minute later on a Cheyenne Barker hoop, and was 50-39 going to the fourth quarter, that saw the Golden Eagles’ lead peak six times at 15 before Ashley Jenkins scored with six seconds left for the final 17-point spread.

“We started out a little choppy, what with having played last night,” said Belpre head coach Scott Miller. “But I just emphasized to our girls after the game what a team effort this was.

Tonight for me, defense was the headline for us. We played some pretty good defense. We pressured, we made some things happen and turned them into points at the other end.”

Catholic head coach Marty Vierheller gave Belpre “a lot of credit because they played consistently hard while I thought that we were consistently inconsistent. Our defense really let us down. I felt like we were all kind of on a different page, and we didn’t jell, we didn’t click. I know one thing – that wasn’t us out there tonight.”