FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - When it comes to high school basketball accomplishments, Mariah Byard has done it all.
As a senior, the North Marion standout led her team to a perfect 25-0 record. She's been named the state's Player of the Year not once, but two years in a row. And she helped the Huskies capture three straight Class AAA state titles, the first by hitting a dramatic game-winning shot as time expired to beat Huntington in 2009.
For the final chapter, Byard, along with Huskies' senior sidekicks Hailey Garrett and Courtney Swiger, have been named to the AAA?all- state team, as selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg’s Tori Wilson has been named to the Class AAA all-state basketball second team.
Byard, a 5-10 guard, repeats as the all-state captain after North Marion became just the third Class AAA girls' team to win three consecutive state crowns. George Washington (1978-80) and Parkersburg (1987-89) also have?pulled the feat.
As a senior, Byard was at her best, averaging 18.8 points, 9.9 assists and more than nine rebounds per game.
And Byard, who has signed to play at Division I Ohio University, did a bit of everything at states in Charleston. She averaged 21.3 points over three games and set a new Class AAA single-game tournament mark by connecting on 18-of-21 free throws in a semifinal victory over Bridgeport.
Garrett averaged a double-double for the season at 18.5 points and 13.0 rebounds. She also added 1.5 blocks per contest.
In typical Garrett fashion, the Fairmont State University recruit kept improving throughout the year, finally peaking in the state tournament. She tied South Charleston's Brittany Gordon for the tournament's top scoring average at 23.3 points, added 9.7 rebounds and made 22-of-26 free throws (84.6 percent) over three games.
Aside from Byard, three others return as first-team selections.
Huntington's Talequia Hamilton helped the Highlanders make another trip to the state tournament as a senior. The Cincinnati signee averaged 19.1 points per game.
George Washington, which upended Huntington from this year's Class AAA tourney field, also had a repeat first-teamer in senior point guard Dri Nazario. The all-around performer averaged 18.3 points and led the Patriots to states for the first time since 2006.
St. Albans' Kandace Parsons earned a spot on the first team for the second year running after averaging a double-double, 18.6 points and 11.1 rebounds. Parsons, who missed her sophomore season with a knee injury, finished with 1,145 career points over three full seasons.
Rounding out the first team is a pair of sophomore guards in Bridgeport's Miki Glenn and Wheeling Park's Emily Puskarich.
Glenn helped push the Indians to a 25-2 mark and the state semifinals, making the all-tournament team in the process. For the year, she averaged 14.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 3.6 steals and shot 74 percent from the foul line.
Puskarich, a second-team choice as a freshman, averaged 19.0 points, 5.8 assists and 3.3 steals to push the Patriots to states in back-to- back seasons.
Huntington's Kiki Smith captains the Class AAA second team, which also includes Parkersburg's Tori Wilson, Princeton's Mckenzie Akers, Martinsburg's Jasmyn Hosby, John Marshall's Kylie Howard, Greenbrier East's Bianca Andre, Spring Valley's Megan Perry and University's Amber Smith.
Kelsey Mullins, the point guard from state semifinalist Bridgeport, is the third team captain. She is joined by North Marion's Courtney Swiger, Nicholas County's Madison Martin, South Charleston's Keke Allen, University's Mariah Callen, Robert C. Byrd's Alicia Noble, Fairmont Senior's Katie Nunan and Hurricane's Allie Brown.