Alex Falk led the Hilltoppers with 25 points, with Shawn Dyer adding 19 with eight assists, Hausfeld 14 and C.J. Hester 14 with 12 rebounds. Justin Fritts led Wheeling with 16 points, with Ben Siefert scoring 14, Joe Prati 13 and Eric Siefert 11.
It didn't help the Cardinals, ultimately, that Ben Siefert fouled out with 5:52 left. His teammates did cut a 77-62 lead to 81-73 before going scoreless in the final 2:39.
"It's a team game, but when Ben comes out we change a little bit who we are," said Wheeling coach Danny Sancomb. "He's so steady, just calm out there. With our team this year being so young, his leadership skills [have been key]. Ben's never been a vocal player, but he changed that role a little bit this year.
"But he's so calm, and he's just such an intelligent player."
This afternoon, the Hilltoppers face a Fairmont team that won an overtime thriller in the first semifinal Saturday. With those eight television timeouts thrown in, it stands to be a tough one - West Liberty swept the season series, but won twice by a combined nine points.
"They're obviously extremely talented," Crutchfield said. "Isaac Thornton and Malik Stith had a big game against us a couple of weeks ago. We need to be on a mission to shut those two guys down."
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com or at twitter.com/dougsmock.