The No. 7 seed Tolsia Lady Rebels faltered in the second half as the fell to the No. 2 seed Tucker County Lady Mountain Lions, 66-44, on Wednesday night in the WVSSAC Class A Girls High School Basketball Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
The Lady Rebels (17-9) came out clicking as they built a quick 8-0 advantage. Tucker County (20-2) was able to cut into the lead a bit and Tolsia held a 12-8 advantage after the opening period. The Lady Mountain Lions’ size began to wear on Tolsia in the second quarter as Tucker County was able to tie it up at 22-22 heading into the half. Tucker County’s size took over in the third frame as they went on a 22-2 run expanding into the fourth quarter. From there, the Lady Rebels could mount no significant challenge.
“We were able to block a few shots and frustrate them a bit,” said Tucker County head coach Dave Helmick. “We’ve been down in other games but just relaxed and played well. We don’t get rattled when the other team gets the lead, but I feel we definitely frustrated them with our size.”
Tolsia head coach Ric Morrone was proud of his team’s effort in defeat.
“I’m so proud of our group,” stated Morrone. “They came out and battled hard from the get go. Tucker County has a great program. We started off the year with a rough stretch but got better as the game went on. We went through a dry spell and couldn’t score. Then, their height got to us a bit in the second half. They stretched it out and know how to close games. Give them all of the credit, but I told our girls that I would take our team over anyone up here. I just love their heart and desire.”
Kerigan Salmons led Tolsia with 14 points. Emily Artrip followed with 12 points. Autumn Block had 10 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists. Amber Stevens added 6 points. Julie Young and Kilee Preece finished with 1 point each.
Ericka Zirk paced Tucker County with 19 points. Macy Helmick added 14 points and 6 assists. Kadie Colebank narrowly missed a triple-double with 10 points, 10 rebounds and 8 blocks.
Tolsia (44) – Kerigan Salmons 14, Emily Artrip 12, Autumn Block 10, Amber Stevens 6, Julie Young 1, Kilee Preece 1
Tucker County (66) – Ericka Zirk 19, Macy Helmick 14, Raven Matthews 8, Avery Colebank 5, Brylee Wetzel 3, Katie Hicks 3, Jayden Moore 2, Addie Hicks 2