Crusaderetttes thump Ritchie in LKC showdown

PARKERSBURG-It’s been a big three days for the Crusaderettes of head coach Marty Vierheller.

After knocking off Wood County rival Williamstown on Thursday, Parkersburg Catholic improved to 4-10 overall and 3-4 in the Little Kanawha Conference’s North Division with a 60-37 victory over Ritchie County Saturday night.

“I do feel like we have turned the corner,” Vierheller said. “And, the reason why, is our attitudes have changed. I told the girls before the game that the win over Williamstown was a ‘season saver’. But, that if we didn’t go out and play well tonight, that it would have meant nothing.”

That would not be the case as the Columbia blue and white outscored the Rebels by a 20-10 margin in the second quarter to break open a close game and send the Crusaderettes to their fourth victory of the season.

“We still have a way to go,” continued the coach. “But, we are proving that we can be a good team and that we are still willing to learn and improve.”

Saturday night it was a combination of balanced scoring and solid defense which led to the 23-point win. Alex Schaffer led a trio of players into double digits with a game-high 14 points.

Reily Sturm chipped in 11 and Ellen Roedersheimer added 10 as PC connected on 22 of 59 shots from the field. The Crusaderettes nearly placed all five starters in double figures as Rachel Gammon and Alexis Saunders finished with nine and eight points, respectively.

“That’s great,” Vierheller said when asked by his team’s balanced scoring. “It’s very important. Everybody that plays us is game-planning to stop Reily (Sturm) and stop Alex (Schaffer).

“If we can get this kind of balance every night, then we are going to be a very tough team to defense.”

Speaking of defense the Crusaderettes did a pretty good job of that against the Rebels, who dropped to 3-8 on the season and 2-5 in LKC North play. Ritchie County out-rebounded their hosts, but were only able to hit on 13 of 47 attempts and was 0-11 from behind the arc.

The game opened as if it would be a repeat of the team’s first meeting-a 49-41 win by the Crusaderettes-as both teams found scoring difficult with PC taking an 8-6 lead to the benches.

However, PC’s shooters began to find the range during the second eight minutes of action, hitting on six of 15 shots while limiting the visitors to only six shots offensively. Reserve Marijka Roedersheimer proved the largest boost as she hit two-of-three shots-one of them a three-as PC outscored the Rebels by a 20-10 margin to take a 28-16 lead to the locker rooms at the intermission.

The game would get no closer.

Ritchie, which plays at Notre Dame on Tuesday, had one player reach double-digits as Vanessa Tallman tallied 10 points. Rachel Haddox chipped in eight and Samantha Kirk added six.