St. Marys girls pick up big win over Gilmer County
ST. MARYS, W.Va. — Earlier this season, St. Marys watched as a winnable game against a highly ranked Parkersburg Catholic team slipped through its hands in the fourth quarter. But the Blue Devils filed away the loss as a learning experience for down the road.
On Saturday night, as Class A top-ranked Gilmer County whittled down a once 15-point lead, Kylie Wright and company recalled that moment at the right time.
“We realized that if we would have done things differently the outcome against Catholic would have been different and this was a high-caliber team like Catholic,” Wright said.
They then used it as the motivation that kept the Titans off balance on the way to a 68-57 win.
Wright scored 20 points and Lara Fetty added 17 more as the Blue Devils handed Amy Chapman’s crew its first loss of the season.
“We came together as a team more and more and we made adjustments to our defense and we came out better in the third quarter and the fourth quarters,” Wright said.
There may have been some bending, but there was no breaking.
After Gilmer County’s Eve Mohr brought the Titans to within 51-49 with 5:50 remaining in the game, Fetty, Josey Moore and Wright converted 17 of 22 free throws to send the Titans back home with the L. Carrah Ferguson scored 17 points and Taylor McHenry poured in 13 for the visitors, those points included 10 of their teams 14 fourth-quarter points, but it wasn’t enough. Even as the Titans forced 17 second-half turnovers, they themselves couldn’t hang on to the ball with 17 of their own.
“At halftime we talked about a couple of choices we could make. We could stay in here (the locker room) and pout or we could respond and be aggressive back which we did. We responded well and I was really proud how we came back out in that second half. But our turnovers killed us,” Chapman said.
The biggest three giveaways came on consecutive possessions after Mohr’s bucket. As St. Marys missed its next three shots; it would have been a perfect time to try and seize the lead. The Blue Devils made sure they never got that chance. As the free throw parade started shortly after two more Gilmer turnovers, it marked smooth sailing the remainder of the game for the home team.
Lots of things broke right for a St. Marys team who was actually shocked at the lead it had built up after two periods of play. The home group led by six after one period, then by 14 at halftime.
“We didn’t think we would have a high-point lead like that, we expected it would be a five-point game and it was definitely a big confidence booster for us and showed us what we were capable of,” Wright said.
Chapman pointed out the fault in the Titans’ approach.
“They didn’t execute well offensively, they weren’t taking good shots,” Chapman said.
That got better in the second half, when the Titans started their comeback – one that began with high defensive pressure. The press started generating turnovers and that led to scoring.
McHenry’s deuce midway through the third quarter brought the Titans within 44-33. Two more of her buckets paired with a Ferguson bucket off a McHenry assist shrank the lead down to 48-40.
One of Trinity Bancroft’s free throws put it at six points at the end of the third period. Yet, the ending of the game was a classic case of too-little, too-late.
Meeks was pleased to see his team pull out the victory. And he took away a positive message from the hard-fought win.
“If we do our stuff and play smart basketball, we can compete with anybody, it doesn’t mean we will win it, but we will be in it,” Meeks said.
Chapman was grateful to have had the chance to take on the Blue Devils.
“We needed this for one. Howie’s team is exceptional, and they put a lot of pressure on us, and our kids needed to see that pressure.