PARKERSBURG - Visiting Charleston Catholic scored the last nine points of the game, the final three by Vida Imani with 1.3 seconds left, to lift the Irish to a 52-51 Class A girls basketball win over sixth-ranked Parkersburg Catholic Thursday night.
The last-second win, coming on a three-point play by Imani off a feed from Anna Whelan, made the Irish 2-0 on the season, while the setback was the third against just one win for Marty Vierheller's Crusaderettes, No. 6 in the pre-season AP sportwriters' poll.
The stunning loss came after PCHS had rallied back - and then some - from a 43-39 deficit with 6:05 to play. The 12-0 spurt, sparked by Alex Schaffer with 10 points - the last six on back-to-back long-range treys - gave the hosts an eight-point advantage at 51-43 with just 3:15 remaining. But the Crusaderettes didn't score again.
The Irish closed the gap to 51-49 with 1:05 to go. But it was still the same score with only 5.6 seconds left and CC with a side out at midcourt. Whelan got the inbounds pass, dribbled down the right side and fed Imani on the left side of the lane under the basket for a layup at 1.3 seconds. Imani, fouled on the play as well, sank the free throw and Caroline Dundervill intercepted a long PC inbounds pass downcourt as time ran out on the Crusaderettes.
"There were a lot of things we did in the first 29 minutes of the game that would have made the last three minutes of the game a little bit less relevant," said Vierheller. "We had a couple opportunities there late, but in the end, it came down to they made one more play that we did.
"I give the Whelan girl a lot of credit. She made her play, drawing the help defense, then finding the open girl, and we paid dearly for it."
Whelan led all scorers in the game with 25 points, while teammate Hanna Gillian netted 10.
For PC, Schaffer tallied 18 points, followed by Ellen Roedersheimer with nine, and both Alexis Saunders and Reily Sturm with eight.
The Irish started fast Thursday, jumping out 7-0, but led only 14-12 after one quarter. In the second stanza, a Roedersheimer 3-ball knotted the count at 16-all at the 6:15 mark and Sturm's two free throws at 5:33 gave PC its first lead of the game at 18-16.
PC trailed 24-21 with 4:06 to go until halftime. But a 9-0 run, capped by Meredith Koerber drilling in a line-drive trey with 55 seconds left, lifted the Crusaderettes into a 30-24 lead at intermission.
The lead swung back and forth in the last two minutes of the third period until Whelan's trey at the 20-second mark gave her team a 39-35 lead heading to the final quarter.
"We're still a work in progress," said Vierheller about his relatively-young team. "So we're going to have games where sometimes it's not going to go as scripted. But you're doing something right when you put yourself in a position to win, and we certainly expected to win. But I hope we learned a lesson from this."
Magnolia 70, Weir 37
NEW MARTINSVILLE -The second quarter turned out to be what Magnolia needed in terms of pulling away from Weir during Thursday's 70-37 victory.
With the game tied at 10, Grace Berisford and Mallory Chapman combined for 15 points as the Blue Eagles outscored Weir (0-5) 27-10 in the second period.
For Magnolia (2-1), Chapman finished with a double-double after scoring 23 points to go with 10 rebounds. Berisford accounted for 15 points and a team-high four steals, while Katie Blat added 17 points and 10 boards.
Tyler Consolidated 46
KIDWELL - Linsly exploded out of the gate here Thursday night for a 23-3 advantage after one quarter en route to a 69-46 road win at Tyler Consolidated.
Sophie Kinnard, who scored 12 points, reached 1,000 for her career on a three-point play in the second period.
Sydney Reed had a game-high 28 points for the now 3-3 Silver Knights, who play Tuesday at Doddridge County.
Morgan Brunner drained seven 3-pointers and led four Cadets (5-1) in double figures with 26 markers.
Wirt County 37
ELIZABETH - Buffalo combined for eight 3-pointers and defeated Wirt County 59-37 on Thursday night.
Chelsea Parkins accounted for two treys and led Buffalo (2-1) with 26 points, while Olivia Dunn knocked down five 3-pointers en route to a 17-point effort.
Miriam Smith led Wirt County (0-4) with 11 points.
Federal Hocking 56
BELPRE -Belpre led Federal Hocking by as many as 20 points in the second half and remained unbeaten at 6-0 by defeating the Lancers 73-56 on Thursday night.
Cheyenne Barker led the Golden Eagles wirth 24 points. Also scoring in double figures for Belpre were Hannah Lawrentz with 12 points and Lexus Cunningham with 10 points.
Three girls scored in double figures for Federal Hocking (1-6), including McKenzie Steele with a team-high 13 points.
Belpre puts its perfect record on the line next Monday against an Eastern squad which is 4-0 and winning games by an average scoring margin of 57 points - including a 67-45 win at Division II Jackson.
"Eastern is the powerhouse of the southeast, but we're not going to quit," Belpre coach Scott Miller said.
Fort Frye 53,
Monroe Central 39
WOODSFIELD -Megan Liedtke poured in 20 points and Brooke Borich added 16 points as Fort Frye defeated Monroe Central 53-39.
Monroe Central trailed 26-18 at halftime before the Cadets (4-1) outscored the Seminoles 17-3 in the third quarter.
Allison Kuhn led Monroe Central (3-3) with 15 points.
Frontier 51, River 50
NEW MATAMORAS -Frontier rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter and defeated River 51-50 on Thursday night.
Frontier outscored River 17-6 in the final eight minutes and improved to 5-1. Kelsea Daugherty led the Cougars with 17 points, while Lexi Brookover pitched in 16 points.
Jensen Caretti knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points for River (4-3).
Herbert Hoover 41
RAVENSWOOD -Ravenswood wasted little time taking the drama out of its game with Herbert Hoover on Thursday night.
The Red Devils outscored Herbert Hoover 47-17 in the first half and cruised to a 71-41 victory.
Jake Martin led Ravenswood (1-0) with 18 points, while freshman Riley Heatherington added 17 points.
Hunter White led Herbert Hoover (0-1) with 11 points.