WILLIAMSTOWN - The constant ebb and flow during the second semifinal game at Friday's 19th annual Donnie Fenton Shootout at Williamstown High School played out in Herbert Hoover's favor as the Huskies defeated the host Yellowjackets, 72-59.
Making its debut this season, Herbert Hoover led by as many as 12 points late in the third quarter when Williamstown took advantage of a Huskie technical foul just before the period ended and overtook the Huskies with an 18-1 run over the next 2 minutes.
Williamstown led 57-52 when Herbert Hoover handled the Yellowjacket pressure and accounted for the game's next 18 points. The Yellowjackets managed just one fiueld goal in the final six minutes and remained winless at 0-3.
Combined with Scott's 61-52 victory against Wheeling Central in the first semifinal game, Herbert Hoover advances to today's championship game against the Hawks. A junior varsity game between Wheeling Central and Williamstown kicks off the action with an 11 a.m. tipoff. The varsity programs from the same two schools play for third place beginning at 1 p.m. with the title game to follow.
"Remember how young we are," said Williamstown coach Fred Sauro, who played six freshmen. "They gained confidence for an extended period of time there in the second half then we just panicked again. We have to learn how to play the game at the end."
A 17-2 run by Herbert Hoover in the first quarter left Williamstown trailing 17-6, but the Yellowjackets tied the game at 25 on three straight buckets from Allie Robinson. A mini-spurt by the Huskies at the tail-end of the second quarter put the Huskies in front 35-28 at intermission.
The two sides traded baskets for the first five minutes of the third quarter before Herbert Hoover strung together six straight points for a 49-37 advantage.
However, as soon as Samantha Dedrick knocked down two of her team-high 14 points the whistle blew for not only a personal foul against the Huskies, but also against their coach for a technical. Dedrick sank three free throws and the run began.
During one juncture, the Yellowjackets scored six points in a span of 24 seconds to give the Yellowjackets a 55-50 lead.
Herbert Hoover then rode the shoulders of Bailey Aab, who scored seven of her game-high 16 points in the final six minutes.
Wheeling Central 52
In the first semifinal, the two schools exchanged the lead four times until Scott took the lead for good during a second quarter when it shot lights out.
With Wheeling Central (1-2) trailing by just one point at 17-16, Scott reeled off 10 straight points during a five-minute span. Despite playing with two fouls, the Hawks pots player Andrea Rankin ignited the run with two straight buckets in the paint. Teammate Landyn McKinley, who scored 11 points in the first half, closed off the spurt with three consecutive baskets.
Scott (2-0) managed to take a 27-19 lead into halftime by converting 67 percent (8-of-12) from the floor in the second quarter.
Scott extended the margin to 47-30 by the end of the third quarter before Wheeling Central made one final push. Back-to-back uncontested layups off steals by Lindsey Barker and Regan Blaha sliced the deficit to 51-44 with 2 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Maroon Knights got as close as six points at 57-51 at 42.5 seconds, but Scott held on for thenine-point win.
McKinney led Scott with 25 points and 13 rebounds, while teammates Andrea Rankin and Jaimee Dotson pitched in 11 and 10 points, respectively. Dotson also had four steals and seven assists.
Blaha led Wheeling Central with 15 points, while Baker added 11 points.