Crusaderettes improve to 13-0

STEVE HEMMELGARN The Marietta Times Parkersburg Catholic’s Jenna Boice (25) guards Williamstown’s Bethany Wager during a high school girls basketball game Friday in Parkersburg.

PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg Catholic weathered Williamstown’s helter-skelter offense in the first quarter, then outscored the visiting Yellowjackets by a combined 41-21 in the middle period to surge ahead 64-47, but still had to stave off a late opposition threat to close within 10 twice in the last six minutes of play en route to a 77-62 girls basketball win Friday night.

The matchup pitted unbeaten Catholic, No. 4 in Class A, versus the No. 9 ‘Jackets, who just lost 83-66 to the Crusaderettes for the first time this season two weeks ago.

The game was pretty close in the first quarter, but Williamstown’s run-and-gun offense never got any further ahead than five and led by only three, 26-23, after the opening stanza.

Catholic turned the tables on the Yellowjackets in the second quarter, though, by getting its fast-paced offense going to outpoint Williamstown 21-13 to go up 44-39 at halftime as PCHS’ Madeline Huffman had tallied 19 points by intermission.

And the Crusdadettes continued to dominate play in the third quarter by a 20-8 point advantage in their favor to go up by 64-47 with only the final period to play.

However, the ‘Jackets were not done just yet, as they narrowed the gap to 66-56 on a three-point play by Keely Alsup followed by her trey at 6:00, and it was still a 10-point gap (69-59) at the 4:21 mark.

But the next seven out of 10 points belonged to Catholic to put the outcome away. First, PC’s Jenna Boice canned a trey and after three Williamstown points, Aaliyah Brunny scored as did Mikayla Alkire to boost the lead back up to 14 at 73-59 with 2:32 to go. Then it was leads of 15 and 17 down the stretch for the Crusaderettes at 1:20 and 56.1 seconds.

PC, now 13-0, was led point-wise by Huffman with 25, while Olivia Ullman netted 16 and Brunny 14, with seven each from Alkire and Boice.

Williamstown, now 8-4, was paced by 14 points from Alsup, 12 from Bethany Arnold, and nine each from Bethany Wager and Jenna Pridemore.

“We weathered the storm early from the Williamstown offense,” said Catholic head coach Marty Vierheller. “And after that subsided, we sort of got into a rhythm of our own, but we knew we’d probably see another run from them before everything was done, and we were able to stave off that as well.”

For Fred Sauro, Williamstown’s head coach, “we wanted to attack them as much as we could, and we did for awhile. But the key was we didn’t get back on defense as much as we should have.”