Warriors have no trouble with Tolsia
Wyoming East (64) Vs. Tolsia (44)
Mar 09, 2016
for the Daily Telegraph
CHARLESTON — Wyoming East didn’t fool around.
The No. 1 seeded Lady Warriors forced Tolsia into four early turnovers, taking a 7-0 lead and riding its transition game to a 64-44 victory in their Class AA state tournament quarterfinal at the Charleston Civic Center.
“It’s important for us to get off to a great start,” coach Angie Boninsegna said. “We did a great job with the transition, and Gabby Lupardus did a great job of getting the ball to the open man.”
Lupardus, East’s player of the year candidate, started the scoring with a steal, racing downcourt to find fellow sophomore Allie Lusk unguarded under the basket for an easy layup.
Just getting warmed up, Lupardus first saw an opening and sank a jumper from the lane. She then found Misa Quesenberry on the wing for a 3-pointer, and followed that with another shot in the paint.
Tolsia (14-12) never recovered from the early shock.
“We got off to a poor start, and East has a powerful team,” veteran coach Ric Marrone said. “We dug a hole and started forcing some things.”
The Lady Rebels tried to fight back with 3-point shots. They took 27, including 20 by standout guard Dena Jarrells, but made just eight.
Meanwhile, East (21-2) was hitting 53.8 percent of its shots and getting scoring from nine different players. The Lady Warriors led 21-7 after one quarter and 37-25 at halftime.
Jarrells hit three 3s in the opening half and led a couple of mini-rallies, but East had too many weapons.
“We cut it down a bit, and East answered every time,” Morrone said.
Lupardus kept the transition game flowing smoothly, and when East had to set up in a half court game, she was adept at finding 6-foot-4 freshman center Emily Saunders or Lusk on the baseline.
Saunders had six points, six rebounds and three blocked shots in the opening half, while Lusk had seven points and five rebounds.
“Gabby knows where I am,” Saunders said. “We have a really good combination together.”
It was more of the same in the second half, with Wyoming East adding four points to its lead in both the third and fourth quarters.
“It’s a blessing for a point guard to have a 6-4 player out there,” Lupardus said of Saunders.
Jarrells finished with a game-high 26 points for Tolsia on 8 of 31 shooting from the floor.
Lupardus, who had 10 first-half points, concluded with 16, along with a whopping 12 assists.
Saunders finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Tolsia’s center, Latasha Nichols, answered with 12 rebounds and four blocks, but only three points.
“Emily is a big girl. I’m not used to (playing) girls like that,” Nichols said. “It was pretty tough.”
Guard Sarah Jude added seven points for Tolsia.
“This was our first time here in five years,” Marrone said. “As the game went on we started attacking, and our defense got better, but foul trouble hurt us and we had that shaky start.”
Besides the 28 combined points from Lupardus and Saunders, East got seven apiece from Lusk and Jasmine Blankenship, six from Haley Butcher and five apiece from Quesenberry and Megan Davis.
“It’s a different feeling this year (at the tournament),” Lusk said. “Last year we were more excited and nervous. This year we’re humbled and calm.”
The Lady Warriors also received 19 points from its bench, compared to just three for Tolsia.
“Our bench played well. We played 10 or 11 and it was beneficial to us,” Boninsegna said.
Wyoming East advances to the AA semifinals at 1 p.m. Friday against defending state champion Sissonville (24-2), which defeated Summers County (22-3) 47-45 in the final game of the night.

TOLSIA (14-12)
Mariah Finley 1-7 0-2 2, Dena Jarrells 8-31 5-8 26, Tasha Nichols 1-3 1-4 3, Sarah Jude 3-3 0-0 3, Michael messer 1-4 0-0 3, Elizabeth Asbury 1-1 0-0 3, Marlee Marcum 0-0 0-0 0, Alyssa Cloud 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 15-49 6-14 44.
Megan Davis 2-5 1-2 5, Misa Quesenberry 2-4 0-1 5, Emily Saunders 6-10 0-0 12, Gabby Lupardus 5-15 6-8 16, Allie Lusk 3-4 1-2 7, Kara Sandy 1-1 0-0 2, Jsmine Blankenship 3-6 0-0 7, Chelsey Adkins 0-0 0-0 0, Katlen Francis 0-1 0-0 0, Katie Daniels 0-3 2-2 2, Kyndl Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Kelsey Green 1-1 0-0 2, Haley Butcher 2-3 2-4 6, Taleah Bailey 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-53 12-19 64.
Tolsia.....................................7 18 8 11 — 44
Wyoming East.................... 21 16 12 15 — 64
3-point goals: T: 8-27 (Finley 0-1, Jarrells 5-20, Jude 1-1, Messer 1-4, Asbury 1-1); WE: 2-6 (Quesenberry 1-3, Blankenship 1-3). Fouled out: None.

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Mar 09, 2016 Nightly Roundups
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Wyoming East 21 16 12 15 0 64
Tolsia 7 18 8 11 0 44
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