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West Virginia Sweeps Ohio In OVAC Samuel A. Mumley All-Star Basketball Classics

Girls from Mountain State win, 70-56; Boys prevail, 119-102

Photos by Kristin Mazgaj Wheeling Central’s J.C. Maxwell attempts a shot during the 43rd annual OVAC Samuel A. Mumley All-Star Basketball Classics on Sunday at Wheeling Park High School. West Virginia defeated Ohio in both the boys’ and girls’ games.

WHEELING — It took a few months longer than originally anticipated, but the senior basketball standouts of the Ohio Valley had one more chance to shine in their high school uniforms.

The 43rd annual OVAC Samuel A. Mumley All-Star Basketball Classics resulted in a West Virginia sweep Sunday afternoon at Wheeling Park High School’s ‘Palace on the Hill.’

In the opener, the West Virginia girls led basically wire-to-wire in posting a 70-56 victory, while the Mountain State boys used a couple of big spurts in the second half to post a 119-102 victory in the second game.

The games were delayed almost two months because the West Virginia basketball season was delayed due to the COVID-19 virus. West Virginia boys teams just finished some 10 days ago, while the girls crowned their state champions 17 days ago.


The Mountain State’s play on the interior proved, in the end, to be simply too much for the Buckeye State.

West Virginia grabbed a 33-28 lead at the half and never truly looked back. And a big reason for that was the play of Wheeling Park’s Bella Abernathy.

Abernathy, who missed a good portion of the season with an injury, made up for lost time.

After scoring five points in the first half, she exploded in the second half. She went for 15 points and pulled down nine rebounds in the second half alone.

Allowing the Mountain State to grab the first-half lead was scoring by committee.

All told, West Virginia had nine players score in the opening 20 minutes of action.

Lindsey Garrison — another Wheeling Park Patriot — scored six of her 10 points on a pair of bonus goals. Lilly Neely — a key member of the Cameron Dragons state runner-up squad — scored six of her 10 in the first half.

Abernathy finished with 20 points to lead everyone in the game and completed the double-double with 14 rebounds. Trinity Christian’s Jaclyn Smith finished with eight points.

Ohio, meanwhile, struggled to find rhythm offensively much of the afternoon. Steubenville’s MaKayla Abrams was the only Buckeye State player to crack double figures. She finished with 12.

East Liverpool’s MiKayla Reed hit three bonus goals en route to nine points. Fort Frye’s Lexie Huck added seven points.


As expected, it was raining 3-pointers in the second game of the day. West Virginia was on hire from behind the line, connecting on 16 bonus goals and Ohio hit 15.

Actually, West Virginia was on fire from wherever it shot the ball. It hit 50 action shots and quite simply Ohio couldn’t keep up.

Ohio stared up at a 54-45 deficit at halftime and never got any closer because West Virginia continued its hot shooting.

Whether it was Morgantown’s Carson Poffenberger, Linsly’s Max Washington, Paden City’s Ty Cain or John Marshall’s Derrick Derrow Ohio couldn’t get enough stops.

Poffenberger scored 10 of his team-high 17 in the second half. Washington followed up a strong, 10-point first half with six more points. Cain went for seven in the second half and Derrow added six.

Meanwhile, Ohio relied on the scoring of Fort Frye’s Nic Hart, who went for 24 of his game-high 29 in the second half.

Union Local’s Luke Merritt was impressive, scoring 17 points.

For the game, West Virginia was led by Poffenberger (17) and Washington (16). Wheeling Park’s Avery Lee was next in line with 14 points. Cain and Wheeling Central’s J.C. Maxwell each had 10 points.

Along with Hart and Merritt, Steubenville Catholic’s Charles Miller finished with 15 points. Buckeye Local’s Mason Brown closed with nine points.


∫ Wheeling Park’s Lindsey Garrison won the 3-point shootout at halftime, scoring 17 points. She edged out Shadyside’s Baylee Wach for the title.

∫ Magnolia’s Gavin Postlewait was the champion of the slam dunk competition at halftime of the boys’ game.

∫ A moment of silence was observed at halftime of the girls game, prior to the 3-point shootout, to honor Fritz Lewton, who passed away last week. Lewton was the father of the late Phil Lewton, a long-time basketball official. He helped organize and start the Phil Lewton Sportsmanship Award, which had been presented annually to an OVAC boys and girls basketball team.

∫ Several special presentations were held during the course of the afternoon. Special award winners were John Sorrenti (Bob Burton Distinguished Service), Mike DelRe (Richard Saffield Girls Coach), Mike Coyne (Robert Dawson Officials Award), Chink Ward (Thomas E. Rataiczak Timer/Scorekeeper Award) and Fred King (Earl Haberfield Award).


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