CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Last week's 37th girls high school state basketball tournament was full of surprises.
Parkersburg South, the third seed, lost its first three games to open the season before winning its last six games, including Saturday's 58-34 victory over Logan in the Class AAA championship.
Logan, the fifth seed, was only making its third appearance in school history at states and marched all the way to the finals. Along the way the Wildcats picked up their first state tournament win and knocked off No. 1 Spring Valley in the semifinals.
Capital, the lone representative from the Kanawha Valley, upset No. 1, undefeated and defending state champion Greenbrier East in the regionals just to get to states for the first time in more than a decade before bowing out to Spring Valley in the opening round.
In AA, Bridgeport, which dropped down from AAA after falling in last year's title game, dethroned defending state champion Westside. Clay County, a top-five team all season and a semifinalist a year ago, was bounced in the quarterfinals by a relatively youthful Fairmont Senior squad.
There was nothing shocking in Class A, however, as St. Joseph maintained its dominance in capturing its fifth straight title to tie the all-class record for consecutive championships. Valley made its first appearance in the tourney since 1991 and Tucker County's young bunch went all the way to the semis.
South and Logan seem primed for several more meetings in the AAA title matchup. Patriots sophomore guard Keya Bartlett, who tied the single-game tournament record for 3-pointers with seven and set the mark for 3-pointers in a tourney with 14, and freshman point guard Taryn McCutcheon, a speedy ball-handler and tough defender, are just now scratching the surface of their abilities. Several times during Saturday's title tilt, South had four freshmen and one sophomore on the floor.
Logan 5-foot-11 sophomore point guard Shayna Gore, who poured in 36 points in her tournament debut - just missing the single-game mark by seven points - and 6-2 freshman center Monica Mitchell, who averaged a double-double at the Charleston Civic Center, are also coming into their own. Wildcats freshman guard Kyra Cline, who usually drew the opposition's top scorer at states, adds another dimension.