Huntington is flying high with its 11th straight victory and a 2-0 mark in the West Division. The Highlanders have made a habit of playing at the state tournament in March and Johnson said she doesn't see this team's youth holding it back.
"All we have to do is play our hardest and don't play lazy like we did the first half [against Nitro],'' Johnson said. "We're a little bit better [than teams in the past].
"Maybe because we're faster. We know how to run the court. We can shot and drive, which is a plus. We all know each other and what we're capable of. Hopefully, we can make it far.''
Nitro suffered its third loss in a row after starting 10-0. The Wildcats saw their division mark slip to 0-3, which probably eliminated them from next month's MSAC Night of Champions, where the top two teams from the East and West Divisions compete in the championship and consolation games.
Thursday was, however, a much better effort from the Wildcats, who shot just 19.4 percent in losing 54-32 at St. Albans on Tuesday.
Nitro's Shamblin finished with 26 points on 10-of-24 shooting, but just 1 of 7 from long range, with four rebounds, three assists and three steals. Miller pitched in 14 points, including hitting on all eight of her free throws, with six boards, and junior post Tiffany Reavis added 13 points and eight caroms.
"We stuck to a game plan for most of the time and slowed [Huntington] down,'' said Nitro coach Will Samuel. "We were competitive. [At] St. Albans we didn't execute anything and tonight we executed pretty well. We got back on the right track.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at takin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.