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St. Albans girls avenge earlier loss to Hurricane

ST. ALBANS, W.Va. -- St. Albans' girls well remembered their last loss, 55-52 to Hurricane on Feb 3. Presented with the same challenge on the same home floor Wednesday night, the Red Dragons quickly doused all thoughts of a repeat.

They did so with a rain of 3-pointers, six in the first period to be exact. From then on, they scored inside about as efficiently, dunking the Redskins 69-35 in Class AAA Region 4 Section 1.

With that, the top-seeded Dragons (18-5) advanced to the section final against Winfield at 7 p.m. Friday in the SA gym. The Generals were 57-56 winners Wednesday over Nitro.

Torrie Wilson and Allie Johnson split those six early 3-pointers evenly, and started swishing shots almost from the opening tip. The Dragons scored the game's first 13 points, surrendered the next seven and then buried three more 3s to finish a 22-10 first quarter.

Wilson sank her fourth 3 to start the second quarter and the Dragons ran away. They led 38-15 at the half, 48-19 after three quarters and 64-25 with 2:39 left.

"We've had some games where we shot extremely well," said SA coach Scott James. "And we came out tonight, we came out firing. I thought we came out a little flat offensively in the second half but they took care of business.

"We didn't hit as many perimeter shots [but] we started working that high post, did a good job there working the high-low and the inside-out."

To underline that point, Breanna Propst scored 16 of her 18 points and Haileigh Legg scored all 13 of hers in the final three quarters. Lexie Cooper finished with 11 and Johnson stood pat at nine.

Throw in a defense that held the Redskins to 6-of-36 shooting after three quarters and the Dragons didn't just win. They delivered a 32-minute exclamation point.

"We really didn't come out to play [in that earlier loss]," Propst said. "Today we came out and we were wanting to win this game. They're a pretty good team, but I know we can beat them."

The Dragons settled down to shoot 43.1 percent, but that was double the Redskins' 21.6 percent. The Redskins were locked down for long stretches, and just plain missed most of what shots came open.

Hurricane's Audrey Barber scored 14 points and Abby Watson had 13, but those were hard-earned points. Barber went 4 of 12 from the floor but managed to sink her team's only two 3-pointers. Watson was 4 of 18 from the floor and missed all nine 3-point tries.

Watson was the Dragons' top point of emphasis.

"This time they didn't double-team her, but they always had two near her," said Hurricane coach Austin Lowe. "They picked her up, and as soon as she got the ball there was one [additional defender] coming at her."

"When you've got a player the caliber of Abby Watson, I'm going to try to limit her as much as possible and make the other players beat me," James said.

Hurricane (12-12) loses seniors Bonnie Runyon and Taneisha Sturdavent, but returns Barber, Watson and others for next season.

"They grew this year," Lowe said. "We were 6-17 last year, and a benchmark this year was to hit .500. We hit one goal; we just got where we wanted to end that .500 [season]."

Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130, dougsmock@wvgazette.com or follow him at twitter.com/dougsmock.


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