Wyoming East knew all about Parkersburg Catholic’s impressive 44-game win streak, but didn’t seem to care.
Senior point guard Skylar Davidson willed the Warriors to a 61-50 victory Saturday afternoon in the Class AA girls basketball championship game at the Charleston Coliseum, scoring 23 points with six steals and four assists.
It’s the second state championship for the Warriors (11-2), matching the one they captured in 2016 and wiping out memories of runner-up finishes in 2018 and 2019. They came into this week’s tournament as the No. 2 seed.
“I was tired of finishing in second place,’’ Davidson said, “so I took this one personal.’’
Top-seeded Parkersburg Catholic entered the game 18-0 on the season and carried over a 26-game win streak from the previous season when it reached the state tournament semifinals with an unbeaten mark before COVID-19 shut down high school basketball and later canceled all remaining postseason games.
Hannah Blankenship, averaging less than 5 points per game, added three key 3-pointers, 11 points and 10 rebounds for East.
“Today was the first day she just relaxed and just shot the ball,’’ Wyoming East coach Angie Boninsegna said of Blankenship, “and it paid big dividends for us.’’
East’s Daisha Summers scored 10 points with eight rebounds before fouling out late.
Wyoming East had a lot of success jumping the passing lanes against the Crusaderettes, picking up 16 steals.
“Our defense played solid all game,’’ Boninsegna said. “I think it created some opportunities for us on the offensive end.’’
The closest Catholic could come down the stretch was 56-50 on an Aaliyah Brunny basket with 1:14 left, but Davidson got it right back mere seconds later, driving the lane for the last of her 23 points.
“Every time they made a run at us, we were able to make a key shot,’’ Boninsegna said, “and stayed ahead by about 10.’’
The Crusaderettes were led in scoring by Leslie Huffman and Lainie Ross (14 points each) and Brunny (11 points).
“Give a lot of credit to Wyoming East,’’ said Catholic coach Marty Vierheller. “The scoreboard showed they scored 11 more points than us and deserve to be Class AA state champions. But I have state championship young ladies. I apologized to them for not getting them across the finish line. I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to go in and face them [in the locker room].’’
Wyoming East led at halftime 29-19.