The superlatives are numerous when breaking down Liz Flowers' performance at Thursday morning's Class A state tournament in Charleston.
"Whatever superlative you want to use, throw it out there because nobody can deny that," Tucker County coach Tom Carr said after Flowers lit up his Mountain Lions for a career-high 47 points during the Yellowjackets' 84-82 victory.
The West Liberty University recruit not only scored her ballclub's final 12 points, including the eventual game-winner with eight seconds remaining in regulation, but she also filled the stat line with a team-high five assists and five steals to go with four rebounds.
The 47 points may not have set a new standard in a Class A tournament game (63 points by Circleville's Christy Cooper in 1988), but it would have surpassed the marks set in both Class AA (37 by Ritchie County's Missy Spangler in 2001) and Class AAA (43 by Wheeling Park's Deedra Davis in 1978).
"The 47 points mean something to me, but it doesn't mean more than the win we just got," Flowers said. "This is a team sport, and without the rest of the team the 47 points don't happen. It's an honor, but I want to get to the championship game."
While closing in on 2,000 points for her high school career, one vital entry had been missing from Flowers' resume. And that was a trip to the state tournament.
That all changed when Williamstown defeated Madonna 72-53 in last week's regional.
"This has been my dream since I was ... I couldn't tell you for how long," Flowers said. "I came down to Charleston in 2003 and watched Williamstown win the state championship. All those girls were my idols.
"I wanted to be like them and have the experience of coming down to play in Charleston."
Flowers' role on the team changed when coach Fred Sauro implemented a new system in time for this year's regular season. The Yellowjackets were going to play at a frantic tempo with Flowers at the controls as the point guard.
She remained calm, cool and collected even when the Yellowjackets trailed Tucker County by 15 points late in the third quarter.
"The game was so fast and furious, and it seemed like when we were up by 15, Liz Flowers would hit a couple of three's or drive to the basket," Carr said. "We had a gameplan, but she's tough. I don't know what we could have done differently.
"As far as trying to hold the ball with a 15-point lead, you can't do it with Williamstown. They are just quick all the way around."
Credit for Williamstown's quickness is the fact that most members of the roster are three-sport athletes, and as Kenzie Smith noted "they are constantly moving."
Not only did these girls contribute to last year's state title in track, but they also played on the Yellowjacket volleyball team which placed runner-up in the fall. So being in an atmosphere like the Charleston Civic Center during Thursday's quarterfinal game is nothing new to them.
"They are used to being in this situation," Sauro said.
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org