Warriors claim Section 1 crown
Summers County (32) Vs. Wyoming East (55)
Feb 25, 2016
for the Daily Telegraph
GLEN DANIEL — A quick lead and a healthy Gabby Lupardus and Kara Sandy.
Wyoming East is back in business
The 20-2, Class AA No. 4 Lady Warriors led 11-2 early, withstood a Summers County rally and then avenged an earlier loss to the Lady Bobcats by a 55-32 count in the championship game of the Class AA Region 3, Section 1 tournament at Glen Daniel.
Lupardus, almost fully recovered from a midseason ankle injury, scored a transition basket and then hit a jumper from the baseline to open the scoring. The first-team All-Stater and player of the year candidate went on to finish with a game-high 19 points, plus eight rebounds and nine assists.
"We got off to a quick start, and Gabby being healthier helped us," coach Angie Boninsegna said. "It wasn't vintage Gabby, but she was a lot better than she was in the game at Summers County."
Summers had beaten Wyoming East 63-42 on Feb. 12, when Lupardus was held under five points for the only time in her career.
The 21-2 Lady Bobcats were primed to make it a game in the second quarter, when an inside basket by Whittney Justice, followed by a layup and a transition basket by her twin sister and fellow All-Stater Brittney, and then a basket by Hannah Taylor, made it a one-point game at 19-18 at just over the midpoint mark.
Wyoming East's 6-foot-4 center Emily Saunders stopped the run with a lay-up, a stickback and a free throw.
The Lady Warriors ran off the final nine points of the period to lead 28-18 at halftime.
Sandy, who missed the first half of the season because of a knee injury incurred while playing volleyball, stopped a 7-2 Summers run with a driving basket. Following a timeout, Boninsegna went to a stall, partly to protect Saunders, who had earlier picked up her fourth foul.
Summers, ranked No. 2 in Class AA, did not contest the stall.
"I'm thinking it's a three-possession game and I'll certainly play the last few minutes in a three-possession game," coach Wayne Ryan said. "If they want to shorten the game, I'll let them."
The strategy worked for Wyoming East as Lupardus took advantage of a defensive lapse for an easy bucket, and then Saunders scored from inside just before the buzzer to make it 39-26.
It wasn't close again.
"I was disappointed we let them score then. That was a breakdown on our part," Ryan said. "But as far as playing them down nine going into the fourth quarter, I'd do it again now."
Lupardus scored nine points and Sandy had five as the Lady Warriors sealed the game with a 16-6 fourth quarter.
Saunders finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Sandy had 10 points and Megan Davis made five steals.
"I thought we all played well. We've had so much adversity this year with key players getting hurt, but I'll take these girls to the battle any time."
Taylor led the Lady Bobcats with 13 points and eight rebounds. Whittney Justice had 10 points while Brittney Justice was held to eight points. Sigman added eight rebounds and Tiffini Cline had three steals.
"Wyoming East is an outstanding team. When you get behind them they're hard to make up ground on," Ryan said. "In the first half there were five or six key possessions we didn't get a rebound we had a chance to get, and we missed five or six layups We could have pushed this thing a little deeper and see what happened. But give them credit. Once they got the lead they played pretty well."
Summers will play at Section 2 winner Bluefield next week in the Region 3 co-final. Wyoming East will host Section 2 runner-up PikeView.
“Bluefield is an outstandijng basketball team. They play hard and it's on their home court, so it will be a battle,” Ryan said.

At Glen Daniel
Hannah Taylor 3 7-9 13, Morgan Miller 0 0-0 0, Tiffani Cline 0 1-2 1, Brittney Justice 3 1-4 8, Whittney Justice 4 2-2 10, Jordan Sigman 0 0-0 0. Totals: 10 11-17 32.
Gabby Lupardus 6 7-13 19, Megan Davis 2 0-3 4, Misa Quesenberry 1 1-2 3, Emily Saunders 6 1-1 13, Allie Lusk 2 0-3 4, Jazz Blankenship 0 0-0 0, Kara Sandy 4 1-2 10, Haley Butcher 1 0-0 2, Katie Daniels 0 0-0 0. Totals: 22 10-24 55.
Summers County..10 8 8 6 — 32
Wyoming East.......17 11 11 16 — 55
3-point goals: SC 1 (B. Justice), WE 1 (Sandy). Fouled out: SC (Miller).
Nightly Roundup
Game Scoreboard
Summers County 10 8 8 6 0 32
Wyoming East 17 11 11 16 0 55
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