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Knights finish season with regional loss at Wheeling Park

WHEELING – Wheeling Park was so sizzling Thursday night time that Preston nor a false hearth alarm may cease the Patriots from advancing to their seventh W.Va. women state basketball event within the final eight years.

Wheeling Park, ranked No. 2 within the last state Class AAAA ballot, scored 40 factors – a season-high for any quarter – within the first eight minutes and by no means appeared again in romping previous Preston, 91-18, within the Area I championship sport contained in the ‘Palace on the Hill.’

Using their tenacious full-court strain, the Patriots (21-4) pressured the Knights (11-14) right into a whopping 17 turnovers within the opening quarter. They completed with 34.

“I believed we created a number of havoc defensively within the first quarter,” Wheeling Park head coach Ryan Younger stated. “Seneca Heller received her palms on a number of passes, which created offense. After Natalie received her first shot down, she simply continued knocking them down.”

Natalie Daugherty was scorching within the first quarter because the senior scored 19 of her 25 factors. She drilled 5 of her seven treys within the interval, whereas Lala Woods had a trio of triples and Alexis Bordas chipped in 12 factors. The three mixed for all 40 factors because the hosts shot 12-for-21 (57%) from the ground, together with 9 of 13 from behind the bonus arc. They completed with 16 trifectas on 37 makes an attempt (42.3%)

“We’re a hungry bunch proper now,” Younger famous. “The women are actually targeted and prepared for subsequent week.”

Wheeling Park led 51-12 on the half and was forward 62-12 with 5:09 left within the third quarter when the hearth alarm sounded. The gymnasium was evacuated for security causes whereas Wheeling Park employees members and members of the Wheeling Hearth Division checked the constructing with detrimental outcomes.

Following the 20-minute evacuation interval and one other three minutes of warmups, the Patriots loved a 75-14 margin after three quarters because the Knights solely scored six second-half factors.

“George Washington will most likely go in as the favourite. We simply hope we will get to the finals once more,” Younger stated.

The Patriots fell to Morgantown in final yr’s title tilt.

Bordas led Wheeling Park with 30 factors, whereas Daugherty had 25 and Woods 15. Bordas additionally charted six steals, 4 rebounds and three assists, whereas Woods had 5 helpers, 4 boards and a trio of thefts. Jillian Huffman recorded 5 steals, 4 rebounds and a like variety of assists, whereas Seneca Heller added six steals and 4 assists. Merritt Delk got here off the bench to register seven rebounds and 6 assists.

Wheeling Park led 32-19 off the glass and solely had eight turnovers. They charted 25 assists and 26 steals.

Kendra Nazelrod had 5 factors to guide Preston.

The state event begins Wednesday contained in the Charleston Civic Heart and Coliseum. The No. 2 seed, the Patriots will play No. 7 Washington within the quarterfinal spherical on Wednesday, March 6 at 7:15 p.m.

By KIM NORTH/The Intelligencer

BOX SCORE
Wheeling Park 91, Preston 18
PRESTON (18) – Simmons 0 2-2 2; Wilson 0 2-2 2; Miller 1 0-0 3; White 2 0-0 4; Nazelrod 1 3-4 5; Sheets 1 0-0 2; Totals: 5-25 7-8 18.
WHEELING PARK (91) – Bordas 11 5-6 30; Woods 5 0-0 15; Daugherty 8 2-2 25; Heller 3 0-0 6; Huffman 2 0-2 4; Hicks 1 0-0 3; Delk 1 0-0 2; Downer 1 0-0 2; Hunt 1 0-0 2; Miller 1 0-0 2; Hupp 0 0-0 0; Dalton 0 0-0 0; Totals: 34-65 7-8 91