Junior forward Kelli Jo Harrison came up big for GW with 20 points and 10 rebounds while senior guard and leading scorer Rachel Ward added 16 points but made just 6 of 17 shots and 4 of 14 from long range. GW sophomore point guard Alanna Mobayed chipped in 10 points, five boards and eight assists.
"I think we went cold offensively,'' said LaMaster, whose team lost 69-50 at home to Huntington in early January. "We were leaning awfully hard on Kelli in the first half. [Huntington] comes out and extends [its defense] so far that you have trouble getting shots off.
"If you don't pull it quick ... we took a shot in the corner and got it knocked back in the stands. If you don't put the ball right in the shooting pocket quick you're not going to get it off. If it's not catch and shoot we're having a hard time.''
LaMaster said the Patriots have a few things to fine-tune before next week's sectional tournament if they are going to make another deep run into the postseason.
"Something I keep seeing game after game, we're not coming up with those 50-50 balls,'' said the Patriots coach who has guided GW to the state tournament semifinals the past two years. "With deflected balls [and loose balls] we're just getting outhustled to those and the other team is turning those into points at the other end. It's just killing us right now.''
Lucas said claiming the MSAC title was a good proving ground for his Highlanders.
"We've been off eight days,'' said the Huntington coach who was recently named the 2012 West Virginia Coach of the Year by the National Federation High School Coaches Association. "That was good for us. If that doesn't get us started for sectionals we're in trouble.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.