PARKERSBURG - A combination of a stifling press, Liz Flowers' game-high 40 points and Williamstown's fast-paced up-and-down style were the main catalysts in the Yellowjackets' 97-67 victory over Braxton County in the LKC Girls Night of Champions third-place game Saturday at Parkersburg Catholic.
But Williamstown, now 17-4, which led from late in the first quarter on, really didn't salt away the win against the resilient Eagles until the fourth quarter when the 'Jackets outscored Braxton, 27-11.
Flowers, though, had a field day in the first half. Williamstown's all-time career scoring leader and state high school girls Player of the Year nominee poured in 29 points as the Yellowjackets used a 25-13 point advantage in the second stanza to take a 50-34 lead by halftime.
Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Williamstown’s Liz Flowers, right, takes a shot for two of her 40 points in the LKC Girls Night of Champions third-place game, won by the Yellowjackets 97-67, Saturday at Parkersburg Catholic.
The first half too saw Braxton (15-6) having trouble numerous times getting the ball upcourt through Williamstown's tenacious pressing defense as the 'Jackets turned quite a few inbounds and backcourt steals into easy baskets.
However, Braxton continued to hang tough and was able in the third quarter to claw back within 11 twice. The second time was 58-47 at the 3:47 mark, only to have Williamstown, the No. 5 team in Class A, respond with an 8-0 run, fueled by baskets by Carley Ellison and Flowers before Brooke Cieslewski completed the spurt with a rebound bucket and a steal for a layup.
That pushed the Yellowjackets up by 66-47 with 2:27 left in the third period, and Braxton, No. 8 in Class AA, never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.
Flowers, who picked up her 40th point with 4:22 remaining in the game on a pair of free throws, was supported by Kenzie Smith with 12 points, Kathleen Cornell with 11, Courtney Taylor with 10 and Cieslewski with nine.
For Braxton, Hunter Sodaro led with 19 points, followed by Montana Flint with 17 and Taylor Bragg with 13.