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‘Jackets down Frankfort, two wins from Saturday

Williamstown plays No. 1 Catholic in semi

Photo by Joe Albright Williamstown’s Georgie Inman dives after a loose ball with Frankfort’s Emily Smith during the Yellowjackets’ 50-45 WVSSAC Class AA state tournament quarterfinal win over the Falcons.

CHARLESTON — The Williamstown Yellowjackets came into their Tuesday morning WVSSAC Class AA girls’ basketball state tournament quarterfinal matchup at the Charleston Coliseum and Convention Center as one of the hottest teams in the state.

They are still sizzling, even in areas where it is a bit unusual.

Jayla Wiseman threw up a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, Lakyn Joy added 12 more points and the Yellowjackets shot way above their usual 55% from the free throw line by hitting 12 of 17 tries in upsetting No. 4 Frankfort, 50-45.

“All we did was try to have fun and we were laughing and trying to have a good time and trying to stay loose. We knew what this is, but we just wanted to go have fun. We trusted in the fact we have played a tough schedule and we trusted in the fact we have been down in games several times in the past week and have come back to win them,” Williamstown head coach Fred Sauro said, who brought a team with zero state playoff experience to a matchup with a Falcon team that has become a staple program the past few years.

Frankfort received an 18-point effort from Marie Perdew and 11 more from Halley Smith.

Yet, most of them came in the second half, once the Falcons found themselves in a hole.

Neither girl made a big impact in the first half as Williamstown took a 29-18 lead before the trip to the locker room.

One of the areas that stayed the hottest for the Jackets was their shooting from behind the arc.

They hit six 3s and combined to limit the Falcons two top players to just nine points.

Overall, they connected on just eight of 29 shots from the field, which according to Frankfort head coach Michael Miller was the turning point in the game.

“They got off to a hot start and we didn’t. That pretty much dictated the rest of the game,” he said.

But not all of it.

Even as Williamstown built the lead up to as high as 13 points on a Georgie Inman layup in the third period, the Falcons never hung their heads. Everyone banded together. Led by Smith and Perdew, the Falcons chipped the lead down to five, 36-31. Joy’s second of two free throws punched the lead up to 11, 44-33, before Perdew’s jumped cut the lead to nine.

Yet, Williamstown answered again. A free throw from Inman pushed the lead back to 13, 48-35. Still, it wasn’t enough to break Frankfort’s spirit. Perdew, Izzy Layton and Larae Grove led the Falcons on one final push and got with five points before the buzzer sounded. Williamstown also made it much harder for their opponents to complete the comeback by hitting all 12 of its free throws in the final quarter.

Miller lamented the fact that his team just ran out of time. “When you only have sixteen minutes it is tough to come back from a double-digit deficit,” he said.

The ‘Jackets now face Parkersburg Catholic for the third time this season in a 1 p.m. semifinal matchup on Friday.

Wiseman made it clear that the past games, which ended with sizable Catholic victories, aren’t a factor in the third match.

“We aren’t scared or anything. Catholic is a great program, and they have great athletes, so we know what we are heading into. It is basketball and we are just going to go out there and are going to play,” she said.

Inman reiterated that this is a much different team than those first two matchups, and that it is a big difference.

“We are just balanced where we all push each other to get better and better. Our teamwork is insane right now and we will be ready to play,” she said.

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