Wyoming East rambles to first girls basketball cha
Wyoming East (54) Vs. Fairmont Senior (26)
Mar 12, 2016
CHARLESTON — Mention Wyoming County and people think of basketball. And when you mention Wyoming County basketball, you think of championships.

Now you can include the Wyoming East Lady Warriors in that championship conversation.

Wyoming East put the defensive clamps on Fairmont Senior Saturday in the Charleston Civic Center, defeating the Lady Polar Bears 54-26 to win the Class AA Girls State High School Basketball Championship.

The title is the first girls championship in any sport in school history.

“The kids did a wonderful job today,” Wyoming East head coach Angie Boninsegna said. “We knew we would have to be strong defensively and help control the boards because they were bigger and stronger than us. The kids just did a wonderful job executing the game plan.”

Both teams started the game a little tight and Fairmont played physically against freshman Emily Saunders inside. Allie Lusk opened the scoring for Wyoming East and was answered by Abby Stoller from Fairmont.

East opened an early lead after a 5-0 run, but Fairmont caught fire behind Stoller and Anysa Jordan and took an 8-7 advantage. With Fairmont starting to feel the momentum, the dynamic duo of Gabby Lupardus and Kara Sandy sparked the Lady Warriors.

Four points by Sandy helped push the lead to 14-10 after the first quarter, but the momentum was clearly shifting to Wyoming East and they would not relinquish the lead.

“Basically I felt like we got caught up in the emotion of the game. We didn’t play our style of basketball and apply pressure on the defensive end,” Fairmont Senior coach Corey Hines said. “Once we were not able to get into transition and run some of the sets we run, we got frustrated and we started pressing.”

Sandy opened the second quarter with a dagger, nailing a corner 3-pointer. Then the phrase “Lupardus to Sandy for two” became like a broken record.

“Kara started out really well when she came in and Gabby was able to find her on the break,” Boninsegna said.

Sandy scored seven more points in the quarter and the Lady Warriors’ transition game began to break the spirit of the Lady Polar Bears. When Fairmont tried to guard Sandy, Lupardus would counter by finishing at the rim or kicking the ball to Saunders for a layup.

While Lupardus and Sandy were scoring, Saunders was causing all sorts of havoc in the lane for Fairmont. Saunders finished the half with four blocks, but altered numerous other shots, totally eliminating any inside threat from the Lady Polar Bears.

“It is definitely an advantage having Emily,” Lupardus said of her freshman teammate. “You can play defense harder and go for more steals when you know you have her there to block shots.”

East would build a 28-17 lead at the half, but was in full control. Lupardus was even more impressive considering she picked up her second foul more than six minutes prior to halftime. She played the rest of the game with no fouls.

“I considered taking her out for a millisecond,” Bonin-segna said. “But I told her if they were going for a layup, to let them go. She is just so important to us offensively and defensively. I knew we needed her on the court.”

Lupardus opened the half with a runner in the lane and Sandy followed with a nice reverse layup as East took control, pushing the lead to 36-22.

The few transition chances that Fairmont could muster ended in turnovers, and East seized the moment.

“They didn’t pressure us a lot, staying in the 2-3 zone,” Hines said. “They allowed us to make mistakes and capitalized on them.”

The fourth quarter was all Lupardus as she ran the Fairmont defenders all over the floor, working her way into the lane for easy scores. East outscored Fairmont Senior 26-9 in the second half and allowed just two points in the final quarter.

Wyoming East forced 24 turnovers and had 14 steals, holding Fairmont to 9-for-49 shooting.

Lupardus and Sandy both finished with 17 points, and Saunders finished with eight.

Stoller was the lone Fairmont player in double figures with 11.

Words came easily for Boninsegna when asked about her team.

“These girls have played a lot of games together. They are dedicated to offseason workouts and they do show a level of maturity on the court that you don’t normally see with freshmen and sophomores,” she said. “I am just so blessed to have them for two or three more years.”

Lupardus, Sandy and Saunders headlined the Class AA All-Tournament team, along with Stoller and Erica Bowles from Fairmont. Also selected were Sierra Gabbert from Grafton, Dena Jarrells from Tolsia and Karli Pinkerton from Sissonville.

— Email: rudy@

At Charleston Civic Center


Erica Bowles 1-11 0-0 3, Tyaira Horton 0-3 0-0 0, Anysa Jordan 2-7 4-6 8, Abby Stoller 4-12 3-5 11, Haley Johnson 1-2 0-0 2, Angela DeLorenzo 1-4 0-0 2. Totals: 9-49 7-11 26


Megan Davis 1-2 0-0 2, Misa Quesenberry 2-7 0-0 5, Emily Saunders 4-8 0-0 8, Gabby Lupardus 6-17 4-6 17, Allie Lusk 1-1 1-2 3, Kara Sandy 5-8 5-7 17, Jasmine Blankenship 1-3 0-0 2. Totals: 20-48 10-15 54

Fairmont Senior......10 7 7 2 — 26

Wyoming East.........14 14 12 14 — 54

3-point goals — FS 1 (Bowles), WE 4 (Sandy 2, Quesenberry, Lupardus). Fouled out — None.
Nightly Roundup
Mar 12, 2016 Nightly Roundups
Game Scoreboard
Wyoming East 14 14 12 14 0 54
Fairmont Senior 10 7 7 2 0 26
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