Catholic runs away with LKC

Photo by Jordan Holland Parkersburg Catholic's Jenna Boice (25) looks to pass as Gilmer County's Taylor McHenry defends during Saturday's Little Kanawha Conference Night of Champions title game at Glenville State's Waco Center.

GLENVILLE — For the second year in a row, Parkersburg Catholic cut the nets down at Glenville State’s Waco Center.

The Crusaderettes, now 17-1, defeated Gilmer County 71-37 during Saturday’s Little Kanawha Conference Night of Champions title game to repeat as champs.

A legitimate threat to get to this year’s Class A state championship game, Catholic head coach Marty Vierheller considered the LKC title a huge accomplishment.

“This is so exciting,” said Vierheller. “All 13 of our girls helped us win this title. This is no minor accomplishment. We are very, very humbled to be the LKC champions again. It’s quite an honor.”

Catholic got off to hot start and never looked back. The Crusaderettes scored the game’s first 16 points and led 20-4 after the first quarter.

Gilmer County (15-5) held its own in the second quarter, matching Catholic’s 11 points to trail 31-15 at halftime.

But again, Catholic came out hot to open the second half. The Crusaderettes outscored the Amy Chapman-coached Titans 27-9 in the third period to break the game open.

“I thought our girls really came to play,” Vierheller said.” I really did. I thought they played incredibly well in segments. The first quarter was like a dream. Seriously, you love that hot start. I thought we played equally well in the first stretch of the third quarter to really take control of things.”

Lainie Ross’ layup with three minutes left in the fourth put Catholic up 71-30 for its largest lead of the game. Gilmer scored the final seven points of the game to close it out.

Aaliyah Brunny led the Crusaderettes with a well-rounded 19-point, seven-steal, six-rebound performance. Sisters Madeline and Leslie Huffman added 13 points apiece while Paige Stotts and Madison Ross scored 10 and eight, respectively.

Catholic was credited with assists on 17 of its 29 made baskets. Madeline Huffman dished out six dimes and notched five steals. Leslie Huffman added four assists. Catholic finished 29 for 60 for 48 percent from the floor.

“They play so well together,” Vierheller said of his squad. “They’re so, so unselfish. That unselfishness is as important as any adjective that describes our team. It’s really something when we’re clicking.”

The Titans got 11 points from Trinity Bancroft, plus eight points, five boards and three steals from Grace Wellings. Taylor McHenry and Eve Mohr registered three assists apiece while Lindsay Chapman grabbed a team-high four steals.

Gilmer’s Carrah Ferguson won the Top Gun 3-point shooting contest earlier in the evening while Clay County’s Marissa Williams edged out St. Marys’ Kylie Wright in the free-throw shooting contest.