By Kerry Patrick
PARKERSBURG — Both the girls and boys basketball programs are entering next week’s West Virginia Christian Athletic Tourmament on a good note after sweeping road games at Parkersburg Christian on Thursday night.
In the nightcap, the Wildcat boys erased a four-point deficit with 5 1/2 minutes remaining in regulation and outscored the Knights 18-7 during that stretch to complete the season sweep with a 59-52 victory.
The guard tandem of Tyler Lanham and Michael Cline combined for 33 points as the Wildcats improved to 4-8.
The WCCS girls, meanwhile, posted a first quarter shutout, building a 15-0 lead and was never threatened in a 47-21 win over PCS. Point guard Stella Dunn led the Wildcats with 30 points on four 3-pointers.
Boys: WCCS 59, PCS 52
WCCS coach Rod Lanham feels he has one of the tandem of guards in Class A, and against Parkersburg Christian they did not disappoint. Tyler Lanham at point guard continued to find the open teammate — especially in the third quarter when he racked up four of his team-high seven assists.
Lanham’s beneficiaries were Cline and Ben Weekley, who were responsible for all 10 points in a third period where the Wildcats maintained a slim lead for the full eight minutes.
WCCS reserve Eli Christman emerged with a pair of crucial buckets to open the fourth quarter and keep his ballclub in front 41-39.
PCS called timeout at the 6:53 mark, and coach Bill Meadows could be heard telling his crew to “speed them up.” When the huddle broke, the Knights switched from a half-court man to a full-court press. The moved morked as WCCS turned the ball over on four consecutive possessions.
Two buckets from Navi Hewitt, including a 3-pointer, capped a 7-0 spurt and put the Knights in front 45-41.
A pair of PCS personal fouls put WCCS in the bonus and the Wildcats responded with four straight makes from the charity stripe. Lanham and Cline added on with one 3-pointer apiece and all of a sudden the PCS deficit was five at 51-46 with just less than four minutes showing.
With the outcome still in doubt and a remaining, and WCCS leading 53-49, PCS’ Navi Hewitt picked up his fifth foul. As he exited toward the bench, he removed his jersey — which resulted in an automatic technical.
Cline made both ends of the bonus then hit one of two technical shots. On the ensuing possession, Lanham added a bucket for a five-point series.
“This game gives us a little bit of momentum,” WCCS coach Rod Lanham said. “We’re a team in a learning stage. We are young—we play a lot of freshman. When we play in games like this, big time situations makes it really tough on the kids.”
Cline led WCCS with 17 points and Lanham added 16. Christman chipped in nine.
For PCHS (6-5), four players finished in double figures. Wyatt Meadows led the way with 20 points. Nazir Hewitt pitched in 11, while Navi Hewitt and Joe Johnson both scored 10.
“In my opinion, and I may be a little biased, in Class AI probably have two of the top guards in the state in Tyler and Michael,” coach Lanham said. “They work well together.”
Girls: WCCS 47, PCS 21
Dunn’s prowess on defense turned into several uncontested layups as the junior accounted for 11 of the team’s first 13 points.
Parkersburg Christian’s first points arrived at the six-minute mark of the second quarter on a pair of free throws from LouMasi Lott followed by a bucket and another free throw from teammate Katie Cline.
The Wildcats maintained a double-digit lead throughout. Leading 26-9 at halftime, WCCS strung together one final surge — scoring 10 unanswered behind a pair of 3-pointers from Dunn. Ava Dunn also tossed in another two points during that stretch as part of her eight points effort.
“Stella is good at knowing when she can take her opportunities and steal, when she can take the ball to the hole and when she is open for the 3-point shot,” WCCS coach Jason Dougherty said after his club improved to 8-8. “With the pass, she is always looking to get the ball inside to the post players. So, yes, she does have a good basketball sense.”
Lott led Parkersburg Christian with eight points, while Cline added seven points.
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org