St. Marys, PC, South on a roll
On a roll.
That’s an apt description of what is taking place this winter at three local high school sports programs.
Start at St. Marys.
On Saturday, both the Blue Devils girls and boys basketball teams claimed tournament titles.
The St. Marys girls captured their fourth straight Little Kanawha Conference championship, running their record to 19-1 with a 64-53 win over Clay County. That means the senior members of the team will leave the program winning the league title each year of their high school career. Few teams can say that, especially in a league as talented and deep as the LKC.
While the St. Marys girls were accomplishing their four-peat, the Blue Devil boys were busy capturing the championship of the West Virginia Hometown Invitational Tournament. The No. 7 Blue Devils were paired with No. 6 Buffalo in what obviously was a tossup game. Indeed, it was tied when Andrew Cosper made a basket at the buzzer to give St. Marys a 63-61 win, its 16th triumph in 19 outings.
On to Parkersburg Catholic, where both basketball teams qualified for the LKC Night of Champions. On Saturday night, the No. 7 Crusaderettes won the league’s third place game, downing Gilmer County, 46-33. Not only did PC win by 13, but it was the 13th win for the girls program.
This Saturday at Memorial Fieldhouse, the 16-3 Catholic boys will play for the league title against Roane County. Catholic is ranked fourth in the small school division.
Cross the river to Parkersburg South. Being ranked No. 2 in the state would be a cause for celebration for most programs, but when you are the four-time defending state champions like the South wrestling team, even second best isn’t good enough. South is attempting to become the first team in state history to win five straight Class AAA state titles. That looks like a tall order given the strength of Huntington’s program. But anyone who has followed Mountain State wrestling learned long ago never to count out the Patriots.
The wrestling program is one of four teams at South excelling this winter. On Saturday, the Patriot boys swim team, fresh off capturing the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference title, added the Region 1 championship to its resume. No one has worked harder than Steve Lutz to build a program, which he started 11 years ago from scratch. It’s a great success story and shows what hard work and perseverance can accomplish.
On to the hardwoods, where both South teams appear poised for state tournament runs. The Patriot boys are 15-3 and ranked No. 4 in the state. On Tuesday night, for the first time since it joined the nation’s largest high school athletic conference, South will serve as the host for an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference semifinal game when it meets Indian Creek for the right to play for the OVAC title.
Then there’s the South girls, a team dominated by underclassmen. The young Patriots are 12-6 and ranked seventh in the state. It’s easy to envision a Class AAA championship in the near future.
Contact Dave Poe at dpoe at newsandsentinel.com