St. Marys girls ready for LKC four-peat

PARKERSBURG – Clay County, despite being ranked fourth in the latest Class AA girls basketball poll, will play the role of underdog when the Panthers face off against St. Marys on this evening at Roane County in the annual Little Kanawaha Conference Night of Champions title game.

The Blue Devils of head coach Howard Meeks, ranked second in Class A and sporting an 18-1 record that includes a nine-game winning streak, has defeated the Panthers in the LKC championship game each of the past three seasons. A year ago at Parkersburg Catholic, the Blue Devils rolled Clay County, 85-58.

Tip-off for the championship game in Spencer is expected to take place prior to 8 p.m. The consolation contest featuring No. 7 Parkersburg Catholic and No. 10 Gilmer County is expected to get under way at about 5 p.m. in a battle of Class A programs.

St. Marys has relied on the dominating presence of Audra Clark and Kendra Walker, a duo which causes problems for just about any team. They’ve combined to average better than 30 points and nearly 20 rebounds a game.

Clay County is led in scoring by Brittany Gould (20.7 ppg) and McKinzee Barker (13.3 ppg). Barker, a sophomore, also is averaging better than seven rebounds a game to go along with 6.5 assists and 6.9 steals an outing. She leads the Mid-Ohio Valley in assists per game and is second in steals behind Marietta’s Erica Dawson.

Parkersburg Catholic (12-6) and Gilmer County (14-4) didn’t qualify for the LKC NOC a year ago, and just like the Clay County/St. Marys showdown, the Crusaderetttes and Titans have not squared off against one another this season.

The Crusaderettes are led by Leah Hughes and Maddie Roedersheimer. Hughes averages better than 17 points and nearly seven boards a game. Roedersheimer nearly finishes with a double-double on a nightly basis, thanks to her 10.2 scoring average and hauling down an average of 9.4 caroms a contest.

Gilmer County is coming off a 44-11 victory Wednesday night at Calhoun County where the Titans were led by Morgan Allen’s 12 points. Allen, who is averaging better than 11 points this year, has combined with teammate Julie Bishop as a solid 1-2 scoring punch. Bishop leads the Titans in scoring at almost 18 points a game and along with Allen have combined to knock down more than 50 triples.