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BENNETT: Sports and Hoops

It’s been a crazy time in the sports department to say the least.

The calendar has reached March already, but the Mountain State is just now starting basketball season, and the crazy part is spring sports will be upon us quite soon.

Wrestling finally got going, and it was definitely weird covering the Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South annual city dual Wednesday night to begin the schedule.

I was talking with Parkersburg Catholic head girls basketball coach Marty Vierheller about the upcoming Mary ‘O’ Crusaderette Classic, which will be held this Friday and Saturday.

Robert C. Byrd takes on Herbert Hoover in the first semifinal at 6 p.m. Friday with PCHS facing Magnolia following.

On Saturday, the consolation game is set for noon, and the championship will get underway around 1:30 p.m.

“It almost turned into a tip-off tournament,” quipped Vierheller of the silver anniversary event named in honor of Mary Ostrowski almost being his team’s first game.

Usually, the tournament is held around Christmas, but that wasn’t possible due to COVID-19 and ongoing restrictions by state officials.

After Vierheller used the word tip-off, we both had a good laugh because Mountain State guidelines have banned the jump ball to tip-off contests for safety precautionary reasons.

The Crusaderettes will carry a 1-0 record into the tournament following their road win Wednesday evening at Ravenswood.

Moving on to a slightly different type of tournament, a trio of Parkersburg South graduates are having some solid success on the wrestling mats.

Samantha Miller, a freshman for Presbyterian College, finished third in her 101-pound class last month at the Southeast Regional in Georgia. She returns to the mat in the women’s national championships on Saturday in Tiffin, Ohio.

Luke Martin, a redshirt sophomore at Fairmont State University, made history this past weekend at the NCAA Super Region 1 Championships in Pennsylvania.

The ex-Patriot went 3-0 in the 149-pound weight class to win the regional crown and become the first FSU Fighting Falcon to qualify for the NCAA Championships, which will take place March 12-13 in St. Louis.

Now, the question is whether or not three former Patriots can make their respective national tournament.

West Virginia University will be at the Big 12 wrestling championships, which are set for this Saturday and Sunday at the BOK Center in Tulsa, Okla.

Former eight-time All-American Brayden Roberts will be competing at 149 for WVU head coach Tim Flynn.

“Brayden has a ton of potential and the ability to win right now,” stated Flynn. “Like we tell all our wrestlers, Brayden needs to handle his weight, his training and his school well this week and in the future then he can be successful at this tournament and in his career.”

In order to advance to the nationals, Roberts has to finish in fifth place or better in his weight class.

“The top five at every weight do not qualify,” Flynn noted. “Five at his weight do.

“They based qualifiers off past years’ data, which I am not a fan of.”

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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