PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — An end to a bounce back year.
The Wahama girls basketball team had its campaign come to an end in the on Tuesday in Wood County, as the fourth-seeded Lady Falcons dropped a 72-37 decision to No. 1 seed Parkersburg Catholic in the Class A Region IV, Section 1 semifinal.
Wahama (9-15) — which finishes with its most wins since the 2011-12 season — never led in the game, but played evenly with the Crusaderettes (22-0) for the first 2:10, which had each team score four points.
Parkersburg Catholic scored 23 of the game’s next 24 points and led 27-5 at the end of the first quarter.
The Lady Falcons scored the first six points of the second quarter, but surrendered 12 in a row to the hosts. Wahama ended the first half with a 7-3 run and trailed 42-18 at halftime.
In the opening 5:30 of the second half, Wahama outscored the Crusaderettes by a 10-to-9 clip. However, Parkersburg Catholic ended the third period with 13 unanswered points and a 64-28 lead.
PCHS led by as many as 40 points, at 70-30, within the opening three minutes of the fourth quarter, and the hosts settled for a 72-37 victory.
“The good thing about these kids is that there’s no quit in them,” Wahama head coach John Arnott said. “I thought we were still playing hard in the fourth quarter.”
Wahama shot 16-of-51 (31.4 percent) from the field, missing all-8 of its three-point tries, while Parkersburg Catholic was 34-of-82 (41.5 percent) from the field, including 3-of-14 (21.4 percent) from beyond the arc.
WHS was 5-of-8 (62.5 percent) from the free throw line, where PCHS shot 1-of-4 (25 percent).
The Lady Falcons won the rebounding battle by a narrow 37-to-36 count, despite losing the offensive glass by a 17-to-12 tally. Wahama also claimed a 7-to-5 edge in blocked shots, while the Crusaderettes claimed advantages of 21-to-9 in assists and 22-to-3 in steals.
The guests turned the ball over 28 times in the contest, while PCHS had just five turnovers.
WHS freshman Emma Gibbs led the Lady Falcons with a double-double of 21 points and 16 rebounds, to go with a game-high seven blocks. Hannah Rose scored eight points and had a team-best two steals, while Victoria VanMatre marked four points, nine rebounds and a team-high five assists.
Harley Roush and Gracie VanMeter rounded out the WHS scoring with two points apiece.
Aaliyah Brunny paced the victors with 24 points, followed by Olivia Ullman with 19. Madeline Huffman recorded a triple-double for the hosts, posting 10 points, 13 assists and 10 steals. Madison Ross, Mikayla Alkire and Emma Gardner had four points each for the PCHS, with Alkire grabbing a team-best nine rebounds.
Jenna Boice had three points in the win, while Hannah Sprout and Kiah Eastwood scored two apiece.
This marks the final game in the Red and White for Wahama’s lone senior, Lizzie Mullins.
“She’s a hard player,” Arnott said of Mullins. “If you watch her out on the court, she’s a hustler. She’s got good speed and she did what I had her on the court to do, pressure the ball and play good defense. She played three years, she was here for the hard times the first year, we just kept getting better.”
With the Lady Falcons potentially returning four starters next season, Arnott is looking for the Red and White to continue the upward trend.
“We’re a young team, we’re like somebody’s jayvee playing somebody’s varsity,” Arnott said. “I’m not disappointed, we had a good year. This was a good year for Wahama and it looks better next year. We have the arrow pointed in the right direction right now and that’s that.”
Parkersburg Catholic — the No. 2 ranked team in Class A — will host Williamstown in the Class A Region IV, Section 1 title game on Thursday.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.