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Sarah Michael leads Wood County Christian past Paden City

Photo by Josh Hughes Paden City’s Abbe Stackpole, left, handles the ball as Wood County Christian’s Sarah Michael defends during a high school girls basketball game Thursday in Williamstown.

WILLIAMSTOWN — It was a tale of two halves, as Wood County Christian took control in the third quarter to surge to a 40-30 win over Paden City on Thursday night in Williamstown.

Down 18-14 at the half, WCC (6-4) became more assertive by attacking the ball, as that strategy paid dividends later in the contest. Individually, Sarah Michael dropped a game-high 26 points for the hometown Wildcats. She was involved with many high-percentage opportunities at the basket, and she made PCHS (2-9) pay. Michael’s 14 third-quarter tallies broke the game open, as WCC took a 29-22 advantage into the last eight minutes of the game.

While this tilt featured untimely turnovers from both squads, it was Wood County Christian that rose to the occasion by cashing in when it mattered the most.

A bucket from PC’s Skylar Fulks and a made free throw by teammate Raven Fulks (who lead all Paden City scorers with 13 points) cut the WCC lead down to 29-25 in the opening moments of the last quarter. However, Paden City’s spotty shooting couldn’t help them dig out of the late hole they dug.

Katie Michael joined Sarah in a late scoring effort, as they combined for the next five points to balloon the lead back up to nine with around 3:30 left. That 36-27 score spelled the end for Paden City, as Wood County Christian head coach A.G. Harris was happy with how his team responded after being down.

“The difference in the game was the beginning of the third period,” Harris said. “We went up 10 (near the end of the quarter) and held on the rest of the time. That was the most important part of the game, and it usually is. We got a lot of rebounds of their misses on the inside, and that was another thing. We had plenty of shots on the other end, but they just weren’t falling for us that much. But we had that stiff two to three minutes at the beginning of the second half where our shots fell, we made our layups, we made our foul shots. We had some difficulties the rest of the game, but it was fine.”

Wood County Christian travels at 2 p.m. on Saturday to take on Cross Lanes. On the losing end of things., Paden City hits the road at 7 p.m. on Monday when they take on Tyler Consolidated. Head coach Alan Miller voiced his frustrations with the night’s performance, and he noted the team’s lopsided shooting percentage as the main culprit.

“We made nine shots in the first half. We made 4-of-33 in the second half, so we were 13-for-61 through the whole game,” he said. “It’s been like that all year. We’ve got four freshmen, two seniors and one junior. We’re teaching fundamentals and the stuff they should have taught, like form shooting and how to shoot the ball, before they got here. Then, when you have seven girls, it’s hard to practice. You go over things every day, but when you play against somebody else, it’s totally different.”

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com

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