AP NEWS

Tolsia rolls past Hannan 54-19

February 19, 2019

GLENHAYES, W.Va. — In a Monday game that was seemingly decided in the first few minutes, the Tolsia Lady Rebels used stingy defense to build a 28-point halftime lead on the way to a 54-19 first round win over the Hannan Wildcats in the first round of the Class A, Region IV, Section 2 girls basketball tournament.

Tolsia (14-7) advances to the semifinal round to face Tug Valley after the Panthers defeated Buffalo 62-35 on Monday. Hannan finishes the season with an 8-13 record.

The game started with Tolsia’s Selena Browning and Hannan’s Julie Frazier trading baskets. Then the Rebels introduced a combination of full court press and zone defense to frustrate the Wildcats. Tolsia had scoring runs of 20 and nine points in the first half with a Frazier 3-pointer sandwiched in between to set the halftime score at 33-5.

It didn’t matter what the Wildcats tried, Tolsia always found itself one step. Hannan struggled in all phases and made just six field goals along with committing 26 turnovers.

“We were able to get some pressure on their guards and I thought that allowed us to get some rotation and get out in the open court,” Tolsia head coach Ric Morrone said.

Even in victory, Morrone said there is work to be done before the Rebels’ next matchup in the semifinal round Wednesday. The defensive effort did not match offensive intensity for the Rebels, finishing a mere 35 percent from the floor with most of the misses coming from in the paint. Tolsia made just 16 of its 27 shots in the paint and missed 14 of 18 on 3-point attempts.

“We’re not being consistent right now,” Morrone said. “In the first half the shot chart was loaded in the paint and we couldn’t finish inside. That will be a problem as we move through the tournament. Those are the kind of things that send teams home.”

Morrone didn’t diminish the significance of the victory, but said he is well aware of the task ahead. Tolsia could be a bit starry-eyed come game time in the Williamson Fieldhouse. The majority of the roster is underclassmen, featuring eight sophomores and three freshman. The lone senior, Sarah Jude, is the only active player with significant post-season experience.

“We go from this now to the Williamson Fieldhouse which will be wild,” Morrone said. “I’ve been blessed to be in a lot of these games. I hope their eyes aren’t too wide and we can focus on the task at hand. I told the girls, ‘Don’t ever not enjoy a sectional win,’ but if we don’t clean some things up it will be a short run.”

Tip-off between Tolsia and Tug Valley is 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Williamson Field House.

TOLSIA 18 15 7 14 — 54: Boone 13, Jude 12, Young 8, Pollinger 7, Browning 4, Muncy 4, Cassell 3, Litton 2, Simpkins 1.

HANNAN 2 3 5 9 — 19: Frazier 11, Johnson 3, Coleman 3, Ellis 2.