Ohio girls rally but can’t hold on, go down 94-86

PARKERSBURG – After trailing by as many as 16 points in the opening half the Ohio All-Stars made their run on the All-Stars from across the river.

The Buckeye team briefly grabbed the lead midway through the final period before West Virginia scored 13 of the final 18 points of the game to score a 94-86 victory and claim the 15th annual Battle Against Cystic Fibrosis All-Star Classic in front of a packed house at the Rod Ohlman Athletic Center at Parkersburg South High School Friday night.

Vinton County guard Jalen Hale was named the Ohio Most Valuable Player after tossing in 13 points while the Waterford tandem of Regan Porter and Dani Drayer scored 13 and 11 points respectively.

“It was a lot of fun and it’s great that so many people came out to see this game,” said Ohio head coach Jerry Close. “It got a little lopsided but we were able to come back but in the end they were able to pull away.

Washington County schools were well represented in the Classic including a quartet of all-stars from the state champion Waterford Wildcats.

Joining Drayer and Porter were Mariah Starkey who scored six points while Erin Roush added five.

The Ohio Stars trailed by 11 at the end one quarter (22-11) and 16 midway through the second before they finally began to click in the second period when they out-pointed the WV squad 25-18 to cut the lead to 40-36 at halftime.

Drayer and Porter combined for 14 of those points as all four Waterford players along with cross town rival Alexis Enochs of the Fort Frye Cadets were on the floor at the same time as the Buckeye team made it’s run.

“I thought all of the groups played pretty well together tonight,” said Close, who substituted regularly to allow equal playing time for all of his girls with the quarters being extended to 10 minutes. “It was good to get to coach our girls one more time and I will sure miss them but it was also a lot of fun coaching the girls we grew up with and then played against.”

Hannah Lawrentz from Belpre scored seven points in the game while Fort Frye senior Karisa Lang added five.

14 of the 15 girls on the Ohio roster scored at least one point in the game including four by Caldwell’s Laken Figel and two each by Enochs and Frontier’s Jenna Maston.

A three-pointer by Roush with four minutes to play in the game gave the Ohio team what would prove to be a short lived lead as West Virginia Co- MVP’s Brooke Kurucz (Parkersburg) and Katelyn Bird took over down the stretch to give the Mountaineers the rubber match and an 8-7 advantage in the BACF Classic.

“These All-Star games are always fun and I think all of the kids had a great time,” said Close. “Of course you want to win but the main thing was to have fun and to raise money for such a great cause.