OVAC All-Star Basketball: West Virginia Girls Rally To Beat Ohio by a Basket


For The Intelligencer

ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The Girls’ game appeared to be headed for an Ohio rout as the Buckeye State led by 18 at halftime and owned a lead as big as 23 in the second half.

However, the West Virginia girls weren’t about to go away quietly.

Taking advantage of cold Ohio shooting and several careless turnovers, the Mountain State went on a 24-2 run in the middle stages of the second half on their way to an 89-87 victory.

Fueling the spurt was Wheeling Park’s Emily Puskarich and John Marshall’s Kylie Howard.

West Virginia took its first lead at 75-74, but a 3-pointer by Fort Frye’s Taylor Buchanan put the Ohio side back on top.

The Mountain State regained the lead a couple of possessions later at 82-80 after Puskarich, a Robert Morris signee, and Wheeling Central’s Colleen McCormick tallied on back-to-back possessions.

After Monroe Central’s Chelsie Roberts scored to tie the game, Howard buried a 3-pointer. Another Roberts’ goal brought Ohio back within one.

McCormick and Howard each scored at the foul line, making it an 87-84 game with just under 20 seconds to play.

As she did 350 times during her career at Shadyside, Karli Bonar calmly buried a 3-pointer to tie the game. For Bonar, it was her first bonus basket of the contest.

West Virginia coach Mark McCormick called for a timeout. The ball was in-bounded to Howard. She drove the length of the floor and softly drained a short jumper just before the horn, giving West Virginia a victory.

Howard finished with a game-high 17 points. McCormick added 14 and Puskarich went for 13.

Ohio was paced by Roberts’ 13. Buchanan added 10. Edison’s Molly McCoy scored nine.