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Girls' Basketball: Oak Glen's Ride Comes to an End

March 8, 2012
By JOSH STROPE, Staff Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

CHARLESTON - Scott's Makenzie White made no bones about it. She wants the West Virginia State Girls' Basketball Tournament to be a statement from her and her teammates.

Unfortunately for Oak Glen, it was the first team to get in her way.

The W.Va. Player of the Year recorded a triple-double with 35 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists as the Skyhawks routed the Golden Bears, 72-50, in a Class AA quarterfinal Wednesday at the Charleston Civic Center.

Article Photos

Oak Glen’s Amy Webster (42) secures a rebound in front of teammate Jessica Stivason (33) and Scott’s Landyn McKinney during action of their W.Va. Class AA quarterfinal Wednesday at the Charleston Civic Center.

"We wanted to try and stop her, get in front of her, maybe take a charge," Oak Glen's Payden Eckleberry said.

Added Golden Bears teammate Alexis Burch: "She is really tough. She knows how to get in the lane and get past you. It's hard to guard someone like that. She knows what she's doing with the basketball, with her passes."

White was 14-for-22 from the field with two 3-pointers. She also added five steals and two blocks. Her 15 points in the first quarter pushed Scott (23-2) to a 25-6 lead. Oak Glen turned the ball over nine times in the quarter and six times in the first 4 minutes, leading to a 18-0 run by Scott after Eckleberry scored the opening basket.

Oak Glen (18-8) cut the lead to 10 points late in the third quarter only to see White take over again with 11 points in the final 8 minutes.

"My shot was flowing," White said. "(Tuesday night), me, Landyn (McKinney), and Andrea (Rankin) found a gym and I put up 500 shots. (My shot has been) feeling pretty good since then."

Scott has been the Class AA runner-up the previous two seasons and after finally solving Summers County this season, White, a West Virginia University recruit, has one goal in mind.

"A state title would complete my career," White said. "I've done everything else I need to do, but I have to get that one thing. We wanted to make a statement (Wednesday), definitely. Me, especially. I've been getting a few comments back and forth, winning state Player of the Year, but I also want to show I am a team player as well.

"I think it came across. We want it and we are coming for it. Be ready."

It wasn't until Scott coach John Porter decided to rest White for most of the second quarter that the Golden Bears started to make a charge.

Oak Glen climbed back in but still went into halftime down 18 points at 39-21. It came out of the locker room with seven straight points, five from Eckleberry and a basket from Vanessa Hissam to force Porter into a timeout.

Burch's 3-pointer with 45 seconds left in the third trimmed the deficit to 10 points. Scott responded with a 17-2 run.

Eckleberry paced the Golden Bears with 17 points in her final game. Jaimee Dotson had 10 points for the Skyhawks and Ali Whitman chipped in with 12 rebounds.

White's 35 points is one basket short of the Class AA tournament record 37 scored by Ritchie County's Missy Spangler in 2001.

"We got down early and you can't do that against this team," Oak Glen coach Scott Wiley said. "We did fight back and the girls played hard, but we just couldn't catch back up. We got it to 10 and used a lot of energy to get to that point.

"(White) is the best player I've ever coached against. I have to figure out a way to try to stop someone like that if I ever come across one again. She is the real deal."

 
 

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