"It was tough,'' said Catholic senior guard Samantha Fletcher, who netted a team-high 16 points. "We just had to move to get open. We tried our best. [Williamstown was] playing close-up defense and we're not used to that. We don't have enough players in practice to do that. We tried to simulate it, but it didn't work.''
Smith finished with 12 points and five steals for Williamstown while senior guard Kathleen Cornell added 12 points, six rebounds and three steals and senior guard Brooke Cieslewski contributed 12 points. Yellowjackets senior guard Carley Ellison contributed 11 points, 11 boards and two blocks and senior forward Lauren Amos turned in 11 points and four rebounds. Williamstown senior guard Samantha Rea added 12 rebounds.
Catholic tallied 12 straight points in the middle of the third quarter but it barely made a dent in the deficit as it shrank from 38 points to 26.
"When they took off the press we looked like a much better team,'' said Sutherland, who led Winfield to two state titles in AA and another runner-up finish. We're not developed enough yet to be able to handle that kind of pressure.
"Not every team can do that. [Williamstown has] eight or nine guards and they can run them in and out. We basically have three guards. So it's hard to keep the same intensity, but we tried hard.''
Sutherland said he is optimistic about next year with Catherine Bandak, last year's top scorer and rebounder, Peri Bailey and Hannah Gallian returning from knee injuries along with junior point guard Anna Whelan, freshman guard Payton Mullen and O'Dell.
"We've got three or four real good middle-schoolers coming up so we'll be able to get back to a good style of getting up and down the court,'' Sutherland said. "Presses like [Williamstown's] won't bother us. In fact, we'll probably invite it.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.