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Morgantown retains distance in defensive battle towards Greenbrier East to advance to semifinals

CHARLESTON — The Morgantown women’ basketball group earned a spot within the Class AAAA semifinals of the 2024 WVSSAC state basketball match behind a robust defensive effort on Tuesday morning in Charleston. 

The Mohigans defeated the Greenbrier East Spartans 47-31 to maneuver on to play within the semifinals on Friday for a spot within the state championship.

MHS freshman Kayli Kellogg led all scorers with 21 factors, including 5 rebounds and three assists. Senior Paige Smith contributed a double-double with 10 factors and 12 rebounds.

“I assumed our women did a improbable job defensively right this moment,” MHS head coach Doug Goodwin mentioned. “Solely permitting 10 factors within the first half was huge for us. I assumed we hustled laborious for unfastened balls and rebounds right this moment and you’ll’t say sufficient what the women did on the ground on protection.”

The sport opened with the rating knotted at 5-5 halfway by means of the primary quarter however MHS ended on a 9-1 run courtesy of Sofia Wassick and Kellogg. The Mohigans additionally held a 13-3 benefit on the boards early on.

The scoring run bled into the second quarter because the Mohigans smothered the Spartans defensively. GE wouldn’t rating one other level till a pair of free throws got here from Hannah Fuller on the 5:12 mark, however the run had already prolonged a result in double figures for MHS.

“We’re used to scoring loads of factors they usually make it tough to do this,” GE coach Jim Justice mentioned. “They’re lots stronger than us and pushed us round and made it robust for us to get our offense in a rhythm.”

The Spartans made solely two subject targets within the first half and dedicated eight turnovers whereas the Mohigans solely gave the ball away 3 times, serving to them to a 25-10 lead on the break.

“I assumed we had been affected person with our ball motion within the first half, too,” Goodwin mentioned. “We weren’t getting many pictures to go down however we had been discovering them. Having the ability to generate further pictures is nice for us. We talked at halftime and knew they’d make runs on us and wouldn’t cease capturing the ball.”

Goodwin’s assumption was right, because the Spartans started the third quarter on a 6-0 run to chop the result in single digits, 25-16. Smith answered for MHS with two free throws and a triple by Kellogg and the Mohigans wouldn’t enable GE to get inside 10 factors for the remainder of the sport.

“It’s a must to have the survive-and-advance mentality and that comes with hustling for unfastened balls and rebounds,” Smith mentioned.

“Protection needs to be first for us,” MHS junior Sadaya Jones mentioned. “We prefer to create offense from our protection so getting these stops is large. We take loads of delight on that aspect of the ball.”

Regardless of permitting 17 factors within the third quarter, MHS solely yielded 4 to the Spartans for the ultimate eight minutes to place the sport away and advance to the Class AAAA semifinals on Friday.

Morgantown 47, Greenbrier East 31
GE 6 4 17 4 – 31
MHS 14 11 14 8 – 47
MORGANTOWN — Wassick 1 0-2 2; Jones 3 1-4 7; Kellogg 8 3-5 21; Smith 3 3-6 10; Hatcher 2 0-0 4; Howell 0 1-2 1; Paulsen 1 0-0 2. 
GREENBRIER EAST — Workman 4 1-2 9; Stewart 3 4-4 11; Waller 2 1-2 6; McClure 0 2-8 2; Fuller 0 3-4 3.
3-Pt. Objectives — Morgantown 3 (Kellogg 2, Smith 1). Greenbrier East 2 (Stewart 1, Waller 1).

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