WHEELING - It was fitting that Colleen McCormick would shine on Senior Night for the Wheeling Central girls' basketball team.
The four-year standout has done just that nearly every time she has taken the court the past couple of seasons.
Saturday night on the home floor, the 5-foot-11 McCormick turned in yet another double-double, scoring 26 points and pulling down 10 rebounds as the Maroon Knights (13-1) earned a 59-44 victory against Morgantown Trinity Christian.
Central coach Penn Kurtz obviously doesn't need much convincing about the kind of year McCormick is having, especially with her all-state teammate Emily Bucon still out indefinitely with a severe knee injury.
''If there is anybody in the state having a better year in the state than Colleen, I haven't heard of them," Kurtz said.
Despite the 15-point difference, the Maroon Knights needed - and got -some big help from several others that had been counted on mainly as role players prior to Bucon's injury.
Freshman Lyndsey Baker came off the bench to score six of her 14 points during the fourth quarter. Senior Beth Stayduhar provided just five points but both her 3-pointer and two-point goal on a nice move toward the basket came at important times. Maria Olson, another senior, also contributed six points and a lot of hustle on the defensive end.
The visiting Warriors (7-7) didn't go down easily and stayed close until Central put together an 8-0 spurt the last 3:20 of the game.
''This was a very physical game and we had a tough time shaking them off," Kurtz noted. ''Trinity has two nice post players and they put a lot of pressure on the inside. Every time it seemed like we were getting away from them, they would make another run."
The Maroon Knights never trailed and broke away from a 2-2 stalemate with eight quick points in the opening quarter. McCormick's soft scoop off the glass put Central up to stay.
This was followed by an Olson free throw, Stayduhar's trifecta and another McCormick move along the baseline that ended with a one-handed shot she buried in the net.
Leading 14-6 after the opening quarter, the Knights pushed their advantage into double-digits for the first time at 21-10 thanks to two free throws from Baker and 1 of 2 at the line by Sydney Bennington.
However, Trinity got some late first half scoring help from Megan Myers with five points to get within 30-23 at the break.
Myers' 12-point night also included a 3-point to start the second half that pulled the Warriors to within four at 30-26. Another McCormick turnaround hoop and Olson's 3-pointer righted the Knights' ship. Central later extended the lead to 14 before Jackie Halopy caught fire to rally Trinity. She scored seven of her team-high 13 points in the quarter trimming the hosts advantage to 44-37 heading into the final eight minutes.