HUNTINGTON — Four seniors on Huntington High School’s girls basketball team who began their careers as part of a rebuild from the graduation of a state championship squad were recognized at Lucas-Archer Gym on Saturday before they helped the Highlanders roll to a 78-56 win over Parkersburg.
The four — Kaiti Swann, Ravyn Goodson, Latahia Jackson and Daijahnae Anderson — were too much for a Big Reds team that won the last two Class AAA state championships before last season’s state tournament was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the first quarter got underway, it didn’t appear as if Parkersburg was ready to relinquish its title. Brilynn Florence knocked down five 3-pointers in the game on the way to a 19-point performance. Four of those came during the first quarter, the last of which tied the game at 15-15 with 1:59 to play in the period.
Huntington (10-0) was led by Goodson’s 27 points, nine of which came in the first quarter and included a 3-pointer that broke the tie. Goodson’s 3 also kicked off a 7-1 run that put the Class AAAA AP No. 1 Highlanders ahead 22-16 at the end of the period.
Goodson said senior day was bittersweet with some of her Huntington teammates unable to attend due to contact tracing.
Dionna Gray took over in the second quarter for the Highlanders, scoring 10 of her 15 points. Gray hit a 3-pointer to open the second quarter to give Huntington a 25-16 lead, its largest of the game to that point.
Jackson scored 14 to round out the Highlanders’ double-figure scorers.
HHS led by 13 points on two occasions, the last coming with 2:42 left in the first half at 37-24.
Parkersburg (6-8) battled back to cut the lead to 10 with 12 seconds left in the second quarter on a 2-point basket by Sierra Mason.
Goodson scored 12 points in the third quarter including a layup in transition with an assist from Gray that gave Huntington a 58-40 lead.
Goodson added another six points in the final period.
“Once we get things going, we play better in transition since we’re a quicker team and we have quicker guards this year,” Goodson said.
Imani Hickman grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Huntington.
The game was originally scheduled as a doubleheader with the boys basketball teams from each school playing also, but the Highlanders are in quarantine and that game was canceled.
PARKERSBURG 16 13 15 12 — 56: Balog 9, Harvey 9, Barrett 2, Mason 13, Hilling 2, Florence 19, Inboden 2.
HUNTINGTON 22 17 21 18 — 78: A. Jackson 1, Swann 8, L. Jackson 14, Hickman 7, Gray 15, Goodson 27, Anderson 6.