Crusaderettes too much for Williamstown, 70-55

Photo by Ron Johnston Williamstown’s Ashley Morris, bottom, and Parkersburg Catholic’s Madeline Huffman battle for a loose ball during a high school girls basketball game Friday night. Catholic won, 70-55.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Olivia Ullman equaled her single-game career-high point total.

The 5-foot-8 junior scored 25 points to help Parkersburg Catholic defeat host Williamstown, 70-55, in Little Kanawha Conference girls’ basketball action Friday night.

“It just feels good to help my teammates make plays and get the win,” said Ullman, who also tallied 25 in a PC win at Union on Dec. 10, 2016.

“You always want to come into this game with a good attitude, and play hard and smart,” Ullman added.

Senior Alexis Saunders added 19 points while freshman Madeline Huffman had 16 for the Crusaderettes, who improved their overall record to 7-2. PC was coming off a heartbreaking 64-62 setback to Charleston Catholic on Dec. 30 at the Fairview Avenue gym.

“We were literally sick about the Charleston Catholic loss,” said Parkersburg Catholic head coach Marty Vierheller. “I told our girls that if we learned from it, it’ll be worth while, and I think there were some lessons in that game we put into play tonight.”

Catholic never trailed WHS in the contest.

“Honestly, Williamstown had a few tough breaks tonight, and we took advantage of that,” Vierheller said.

“I have a ton of respect for (the Yellowjackets) and coach (Fred) Sauro. It just happened to be our night. Tonight was a great team win.”

Williamstown, which had a four-game winning streak snapped, fell to 7-3 on the season. The Yellowjackets were paced by Samantha Dedrick’s 13 points. Bethany Wager netted nine, while Victoria Clark and Ashley Morris chipped in with eight and seven respectively.

“We were outhustled, outplayed, outcoached, and outprepared,” Sauro said. “I mean, they did an exquisite job, and my hat’s off to them. We didn’t play well. It seemed like it was never close. We didn’t play the way that we’re capable of.”

Ullman (9) and Saunders (6) combined to score 15 first-quarter points as PC staked itself to a 21-14 advantage. Keeping the ‘Jackets within striking distance, Morris scored five points, and Victoria Clark had four.

Early in the second quarter, WHS cut it to three (21-18) on buckets by Stewart and Morris. Later in the stanza, Wager drained a three and Courtney Dotson scored on a putback to reduce the deficit to two (25-23) with about three minutes left in the first half.

But then Ullman converted four straight freebies and Saunders scored off a steal to give the Crusaderettes a 31-25 advantage at the intermission.

The third quarter proved to be pivotal as Catholic outpointed Williamstown 24-14, and stretched its lead to 55-39. Leading the surge, Huffman, a 5-1 point guard, scored 12 points and dished out several assists.

“Their little guard (Huffman) is a big-time catalyst,” Sauro said, “and they have other ingredients on that team. They did a great job.”

Saunders had eight points in the third, and her drive and score late in the period gave the Crusaderettes their first double-digit lead of the contest, 43-33.

After PC’s lead bulged to 20 points (59-39) early in the fourth, it coasted home with the win.

“We’ve got to get back to the drawing board,” Sauro said. “There’s a lot of things that we’ve got to do.”

Williamstown is scheduled to host Ritchie County Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., while Catholic does the same versus Tyler Consolidated on the same day.

“We aren’t going to rest on this win tonight,” Vierheller said. “It’s a big win and it’s great to have, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”