Jackson wins county championship

Generals dominate the glass, 52-37

Jackson’s Brilynn Florence passes to a teammate while Hamilton’s Taneekah Longwell defends during the Wood County Middle School 6th grade championship game Thursday inside Memorial Fieldhouse. The Generals outlasted the Wildcats, 37-28. Photo by Jay W. Bennett.

PARKERSBURG — The 6th grade Wood County Middle School basketball championship played Thursday inside Memorial Fieldhouse featured 89 rebounds and the advantage on the boards played a big role in top-seeded Jackson’s 37-28 victory versus third-seeded Hamilton.

Hamilton, which ended the season at 9-4, had previously lost to the Generals (11-1) by 24 and seven points, respectively, during the regular season.

Trailing just 22-21 after Gracie Wilkinson, who had 11 boards and three assists, sank two free throws late in third, Jackson got a huge 3-ball from Riley Hilling with 10 seconds left in the quarter after the Generals managed to corral five offensive rebounds on the possession.

The four-point cushion entering the final six minutes was sliced to three after an Allie Felker (four assists, three steals) charity stripe toss, but the Generals proceeded to score eight straight to take their largest lead of the game at 33-22 with four minutes to play. Hilling and Jenna Carpenter, who had a game-high 14 points as well as four steals, scored a pair of deuces apiece.

However, Hamilton stormed right back thanks to three consecutive Payton Harvey buckets and the Wildcats only trailed 33-28 with 2:16 left. Despite having several good looks, the Wildcats couldn’t get any closer. Carpenter had a steal and a lay-in thanks to an assist from Brilynn Florence, who finished with the game’s lone double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. A putback by Lauren McDonnell, who also grabbed 11 caroms, set the final score.

Harvey led the Wildcats with 10 points while Taneekah Longwell and Sierra Mason, who had eight rebounds and a game-high six steals, tallied six markers apiece.

Hilling added seven points and joined Florence in making a trio of steals.

Jackson, which shot 15 of 57 (26.3 percent) compared to Hamilton’s 11 of 54 (20.4 percent) showing, held a commanding 52-37 edge on the glass. The Generals were able to win the game despite a dozen turnovers in the first quarter, 21 in the first half and losing the turnover battle, 27-20.

All-tournament members featured Jackson’s Rylee Wise as well as Hilling, Carpenter, Florence, Longwell, Harvey, Wilkinson, Mason, Blennerhassett teammates McKenzie Mott and Alecia Lemus as well as Williamstown teammates Georgie Inman and Emily Bailey.