West Virginia Girls, Ohio Boys Win OVAC Samuel A. Mumley All-Star Basketball Games
Buckeye State and Mountain State split contests held at OUE
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The 42nd annual OVAC Samuel A. Mumley All-Star Basketball Games had a little bit of everything Sunday afternoon.
One thing it didn’t supply was clear bragging rights for neither Ohio nor West Virginia.
The two states split the contests held at Ohio University Eastern’s Health and Physical Education Center.
The West Virginia girls got things started with a 77-68 victory against Ohio, but then the Buckeye State rallied from as many as 14 down in the second half to pull out a thrilling 94-91 victory in the second game of the doubleheader.
It took the West Virginia girls a while, but they finally found the right combination of players to exploit size advantages on the Ohio squad.
The Mountaineers owned a 40-31 lead at halftime and watched Ohio score the first eight of the second half as River’s Lauren Flannery got hot and scored four consecutive field goals in the spurt.
That, however, proved to be as close as Ohio would get. West Virginia simply had an answer each time Ohio seemed to gain some momentum. Usually, it was Morgantown’s Sydni Clawges or Brooke’s Hope Bowman doing work on the interior.
Clawges scored eight of her nine points in the second half, while Bowman, who stands no less than 6-3 scored eight of her 15 in the second half, many of which came on second-chance opportunities.
Still, however, the Buckeyes found themselves down just six after Buckeye Local’s Emily Holzopfel hit a trey from the wing.
From there, though, the Mountain State scored nine in a row to stretch the margin to 15. Ohio never got the deficit to less than 10 until the final two free throws of the game.
Along with Clawges and Bowman’s work on the interior, Morgantown’s Lexi Hughes, Linsly’s Josie Purpura and Trinity Christian’s Reagan Sharp all played well.
They went for 12, 10 and nine, respectively.
Ohio, which saw three of its players fail to record a point, was led by Flannery’s 14. She was complemented by Bellaire’s Maci Crozier who finished with 12. Holzopfel added nine.
On the boys’ side, the back-and-forth affair appeared that it was going to be a West Virginia run away in the second half.
Ohio, which owned a 53-48 lead at halftime, found itself trailing, 80-66 with under seven minutes to play.
St. Clairsville’s Matt Busby wasn’t going to let his team go down without a fight. He hit back-to-back treys to ignite the rally and a goal by Toronto’s Nate Karaffa quickly shaved the deficit to five.
Cameron’s Dillon Meintel and Paden City’s Matt Saxon both tallied for West Virginia to stop the bleeding and push the Mountaineer lead back to nine.
Ohio kept plugging away, though. The Buckeyes scored five straight, including a goal by Steubenville’s Josh Zimmerman and a bucket from Martins Ferry’s Deandre Pugh.
The teams traded free throws, but a driving bucket from Indian Creek’s Michael Allen got Ohio to within three, but West Virginia hit one-of-two at the line.
That though proved to be the final points for the Mountain State. Caldwell’s Clark Jennings got the Buckeyes to within one when he connected on a 3-pointer. Zimmerman tallied again after a steal, giving Ohio its first lead since it was 55-52 in the early moments of the second half.
Another missed shot by West Virginia resulted in it having to foul. East Liverpool’s Gabe Roach knocked home both and West Virginia’s last-second try ended with a turnover, preserving the victory for Ohio.
Busby led all scorers in the game with 18, while Allen closed with 15. Zimmerman chipped in 13. Roach and Karaffa finished with nine and eight, respectively.
West Virginia was led by Wheeling Central’s Anthony Robbins, who went for 12, including 10 in the second half. Morgantown’s Cam Selders and University’s Rodney Bucklew each had 10. Hundred’s Travis McCoy and Wheeling Park’s Keondre’ King both bucketed nine.
∫ Shadyside’s Syd Destifanes caught fire in a tie-breaker round at halftime of the girls’ game to win the 3-point shootout title. She fended off Madonna’s Andrea Alimario for the title.
∫ Indian Creek’s Michael Allen soared to the slam dunk title at halftime of the boys’ game. He finished with a combined score of 86 out of 90 possible points to win the title. Included in his bevy of dunks was one in which he literally jumped over St. Clairsville’s Craig Bober for the flush.
∫ Several scholarships were awarded during the pre-game luncheon held at Undo’s in St. Clairsville. Steubenville Central’s Julia Zatta, Caldwell’s Cloe Siddle, John Marshall’s Shay Straughn and Trinity’s Reagan Sharp received the Betty Ann Ponzo Memorial Scholarship. Shadyside’s Destifanes received the Susan K. Stanko Memorial Scholarship, Southern Local’s Riley Felton received the Pam Ammirante Memorial Scholarship.
∫ On the boys’ side, the recipients were Wheeling Park’s Keondre King and St. John’s Matt Fouty won the Ray Ponzo Memorial Scholarship, St. Clairsville’s Boner and Trinity’s Daniel Woods won the Richard Potts Memorial Scholarship and Weir’s Reed Reitter won the Richard Saffield Memorial Scholarship.
∫ The Ohio Valley Board of Approved Basketball Officials presented their annual sportsmanship awards during the game. The River girls’ team and the Linsly boys’ team received the awards.