Williamstown girls defeat Clay County, 83-53

JAY W. BENNETT The Marietta Times Williamstown’s Jenna Pridemore and Clay County’s Kacey Butcher battle for a loose ball during the semifinals of Friday night’s Donnie Fenton Shootout.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Host Williamstown and Wheeling Central rolled to easy semifinal victories here Friday night in the annual Donnie Fenton Shootout as the Yellowjackets ran past Clay County 83-53 while the Maroon Knights put on a dominating effort in a 92-54 triumph versus Poca.

Following an 11 a.m. junior varsity game today, Poca (2-2) will take on the Panthers (1-2) with the Yellowjackets (2-0) facing off against Wheeling Central (3-1) in the title tilt.

In the nightcap, Clay County only trailed 17-16 early in the second quarter after Kaleigh Brown scored via a Cassie Richards assist. However, the hosts were able to push the advantage to 42-29 by halftime.

Panther Marissa Williams’ putback 61 ticks into the third period made it 42-31, but head coach Fred Sauro’s club then went on a 10-2 spurt to take full control. Jenna Pridemore had two buckets for part of her 13 markers in the run. Bethany Arnold, who grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds and finished with seven points, added a deuce as did Mackenzie Hill (eight points) and Taylor Newton.

Clay County, which was paced by Erica Boggs’ game-high 21 points while teammate Cate Murphy chipped in seven counters, trailed by 19 late in the third, 56-37, after Bethany Wager had a steal and a layup. Wager led WHS with 19 points while Izzy Erb finished with 11.

‘Jacket Kayli Sauro had a game-high seven dimes and the hosts were able to win big despite 34 turnovers. Clay County, which lost the battle on the boards 60-38, committed 29 turnovers.

The Maroon Knights of head man Penn Kurtz forced 20 turnovers and also shot better than 52 percent from the field (35 of 67) as his squad drained 10 of 21 from downtown.

Eden Gainer pumped in 24 of her game-high 27 points in the first half, which included scoring a dozen tallies in each of the first two quarters. She knocked down a pair of 3s in each stanza as well.

Poca’s only lead came at 3-2 just 50 seconds in when Madi Ord hit a 3 from a Taylor Bonnett (10 points) assist for part of her team-high 18 tallies.

After Gainer scored on a lay-in from a Taylor Duplaga (20 points, seven boards, game-high six assists) dish, Bonnett answered, but Central then scored the next 10 points to take control. Riley Bennington, who joined teammate Marisa Huran with seven points, canned a trifecta and Gainer ended it with another 3. The other four points came from a Gainer putback and a Duplaga coast-to-coast layup.

Down 39-18, the Dots put together an 11-2 spurt to close to within 42-29 with 19 seconds left in the half. Molly Collins found Aubrey Chandler, who had 17 points and four assists, open for a trifecta to cap the run. However, Gainer scored two more buckets for a 46-29 halftime cushion.

Central sophomore Hannah White came off the bench to finish with six points and a game-high seven thefts.