Blue Devils advance to sectional championship

WEST UNION-The motto is a simple one. But, in tournament play, an important one to remember and the girls from No. 2 St. Marys did not forget it Tuesday night as the Blue Devils (21-1) throttled Little Kanawha Conference rival Tyler Consolidated by a 78-36 margin to advance to the Region I, Section 2 championship game on Friday night.

St. Marys will take on Morgantown Trinity in the championship game. Trinity advanced with a 66-64 overtime win over Clay-Battelle in Tuesday’s second contest.

“Howie (St. Marys head coach Howard Meeks II) says to play 32 strong,” said senior Audra Clark. “Not 29 and take a break, but 32 minutes as hard as you can play. That is what we are going to do every game because if you lose, your season is over.”

And, that is exactly how the LKC champions played as Tyler Consolidated’s Allison Wable tallied the game’s first bucket. But, St. Marys responded with the final 25 points of the first quarter to head to the benches leading by a comfortable 23 points.

Abby Fetty got things rolling for the purple and gold as she picked off a Silver Knights’ pass and tied the game at two. The play ignited a 25-0 run by the Pleasants Countians, who improved to 21-1 on the season.

Fetty finished with seven of her 17 points in the opening eight minutes of play while Clark, who led all scorers with 27 points, chipped with six. Junior Kendra Walker added seven points and Dani Moore and Mikaela Britton chipped in with three and two points, respectively.

Tyler, which finished the season with a 9-13 mark, opened the second quarter on a 6-0 run as junior Sophia Kinnard bucketed a deuce and a pair of free throws while Torrye Cline added a bucket as the Knights pulled to within 17, 25-8, with five and one half minutes left until the intermission.

That would be as close as the game would get as a Fetty two-pointer started a 15-2 run by the Blue Devils, who led by 33, 48-15, at the half.

“They (St. Marys) just shot the ball extremely well in the first half,” said Tyler Consolidated head coach Matt Kinnard. “And, we made it worse by struggling from the field.”

Well is right as St. Marys canned 19 of its 37 opportunities from the field in the first 16 minutes (51 percent) while out-rebounding the Silver Knights by a 23-17 margin.

The Blue Devils continued their hot-shooting to open the second half as Britton nailed a triple while Walker added a deuce and Clark a pair of inside buckets as St. Marys’ lead ballooned to 57-15.

Clark, who has pretty much averaged a double-double during her four years at St. Marys, finished with 15 rebounds while Walker added 15 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.

Tyler Consolidated was led by Sophia Kinnard’s 13 points. Cline chipped in with 10 points and Sydney Reed added six.