Another tournament run is over for area basketball teams. There were high marks for some teams and heartbreak for others.
On the college level, it was all to short. Both West Virginia and Ohio State losing in the opening round of the NCAA's. Both are young teams, but more was expected, especially for the Mountaineers. Bob Huggins' team had a strong finish to the regular season, and then an upset of powerhouse Pitt in the Big East Tournament. But a veteran Dayton team and an off shooting night had the Mountaineers homeward bound before the NCAA Tournament hit its first weekend.
On the high school level Ravenswood was the king of the hill in the Mountain State in WV Class AA basketball. Coach Mick Price and his Red Devil role players combined for an outstanding tournament run that saw the avenge last year's heartbreaking loss with a blow out victory. Nothing like winning a state championship and riding through your hometown in a victory parade all in the same afternoon. 2 State Champions in 4 years, a track record to be proud of in Red Devils country.
The rest of the ares teams reached different levels of success on the tournament trail.
The real shockers were the Parkersburg South girls and the Fort Frye boys.
The defending State Champion Patriots saw it all slip away in the final minutes of their Class AAA Regional Finals with Woodrow Wilson. The Flying Eagles erased a double digit deficit in the final 4 minutes and scored a last second victory. A stunning loss for a talented Patriots team that had experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows on the basketball court in a 12 month span.
The Fort Frye Cadets tournament run was over before it started. The Division III powerhouse got stunned in the first game of its Sectional Tournament. The Cadets were the number 1 seed in the sectional. But they saw Buckeye Trail explode with a 12 point run to start their opening game game and the Cadets would never recover. A great Fort Frye season cut short with an 18-3 record, and you can't help think what might have been.
The Parkersburg South and St. Marys both had a shot at state championship as they made it Charleston. The Patriots were in the tournament for the first time since they won it all in 2003. The Patriots had depth and desire and were a fun team to watch.
The Blue Devils had their first trip to the Charleston Civic Center court since their seniors were in pre-school. The fought there way to sectional and regional titles with their unique brand of basketball. The Devils won a squeaker in the first round, but fell to traditional powerhouse Wheeling Central in the semifinals
On the girls side Parkersburg Catholic made yet another state tournament appearance. The Crusaderettes bounced back from a loss in the sectional crown to upset Bishop Donahue in the regional championship. They won their quarterfinal matchup, but lost in the semis to eventual champion Huntington St. Joe.
Waterford advanced the farthest in Ohio girls tournament play. The Wildcats made it back to the Division IV Regionals once again. But once again Columbus Africentric ended Waterford's post season. The loss doesn't diminish a 21 win season that included Conference, Sectional and District Championships along the way.
The tournaments are over. The champions can savor the moment, while the rest can't wait to hit the gyms next season for another shot at post season glory.
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