Catholic moves on to title game

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg Catholic outscored visiting Wirt County 69-37 in the last three quarters to overcome a slow start in cruising to a 78-44 victory in a first-round game of the 18th annual Mary “O” Crusaderette Classic Thursday night.

The host Crusaderettes, now 2-6, moved into the finals of the four-team event named for legendary PCHS girls cager Mary Ostrowski. They will play Herbert Hoover (4-1) in the championship finals at 7:30 p.m. today, preceded by the 6 p.m. consolation game with Wirt (2-5) taking on 5-2 Buffalo, which bowed in the other opening-round contest Thursday to the Huskies, 83-37.

Catholic got off to a “sluggish start”, falling behind 5-1 before going on an 8-0 run to grab a 9-7 advantage after one period and never let it go the rest of the way.

Another PC spurt, this time 11-2, to begin the second stanza upped the count to 20-9, and a late 14-3 burst to the halftime horn made it 36-20 at intermission.

Then a 20-10 third quarter in PC’s favor further hiked the margin to 56-30 going to the fourth quarter, which the hosts won as well. 22-14.

Catholic’s 1-2 punch of Alex Schaffer and Reily Sturm went for 24 and 11 points respectively Thursday, with freshman Alexis Saunders notching 17 while Marijka Lynch-Pastoor and Rachel Gammon each contributed eight.

For Wirt, Mady Hardbarger led with nine points, followed by Megan Burns and Miriam Smith with eight each.

“That first quarter was real important for us to kind of just knock the cobwebs off and then go do what we do,” said PC head coach Marty Vierheller.

For Wirt head coach Jeff Smith, “it’s sort of been hit or miss for us so far this season,” after losing four starters to graduation. “We’re just trying to get that consistency right now – that’s the biggest thing.”

In the first game of the night, Herbert Hoover rode the hot hand of Bethany Romine, who popped in seven of the Huskies’ 17 treys en route to besting Buffalo.

Hannah King pumped in 24 points and Romine 21 to pace HH, while Chelsey Parkins’ nine and Noell Dingess’ eight led Buffalo.