CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Parkersburg South coach Scott Stephens calls his current state championship contender a little more guard-oriented than his 2006 and 2007 girls state champions.
In the Patriots' 67-39 dismantling of Hedgesville Thursday at the Civic Center, they showed as much, right from the opening tap. When Keya Bartlett buried two straight 3-pointers from the right corner, the issue was pretty much settled.
Bartlett scored 30 points with five assists and Taryn McCutcheon had 13 points with eight assists as the second-seeded Patriots (18-7) took an 18-6 lead after one quarter and a 35-17 lead at the half. With the Eagles (18-8) committing 20 turnovers and shooting just 22.7 percent, the margin stayed in double digits for three-plus quarters.
Bartlett, a sophomore, finished 5 of 11 from 3-point range and 10 of 19 from all distances. She and freshman McCutcheon combined for seven steals.
"This team is probably more guard-oriented than those teams were," Stephens said. "We were probably more post-oriented [in years past]. Next year, I think we'll have more of a post presence, maybe, than we've had this year. Some of our younger kids are going to fill in that role, but Miranda [Workman] has done a great job, practicing with them and trying to get them better."
The 5-foot-9 Workman worked the Eagles over under the basket, scoring 10 points and bringing down eight rebounds. The Patriots outrebounded the Eagles 49-35 and enjoyed a 19-5 lead in second-chance points.
So much for the Patriots not being so post-oriented. Right, Ben Merica?
"Without a doubt, they have a physical presence underneath," said the Hedgesville coach. "They know where to be, they set good blocks and they're able to move around physically underneath the board. A lot of strength, I'd say, in those young ladies.