MASON, W.Va. — Thorough, from start to finish.
The Meigs girls basketball team led wire-to-wire while picking up its third straight victory Monday night following a 54-18 decision over host Wahama in a non-conference matchup at Gary Clark Court in Mason County.
The visiting Lady Marauders (4-6) had 10 different players reach the scoring column while forcing the Lady Falcons (0-8) into committing 34 turnovers — with 23 of those miscues coming before halftime.
MHS jumped out to a 4-0 lead before closing the first period with a 12-2 advantage, and that double-digit margin held up the rest of the way.
The guests followed with a 14-4 surge over the opening six minutes of the second canto, with Haiden English netting two free throws at the 2:05 mark for a 26-6 edge. Meigs closed the quarter on a 7-3 spurt to take its largest lead of the first half at 33-9.
Wahama closed to within 39-15 following a bucket by Maddie VanMatre with 2:16 left in the third stanza, but the hosts ultimately never came closer. MHS closed the third period on a small 4-1 spurt to secure a 43-16 lead headed into the finale.
The Lady Marauders opened the fourth with a 13-0 run to secure their largest lead of the game at 54-16 with 1:48 remaining, but Olivia Hill scored Wahama’s lone points in the fourth after netting a basket with 45 seconds left in regulation — wrapping up the 36-point outcome.
The Maroon and Gold committed 21 less turnovers (34-13) and outrebounded the hosts by a 34-25 overall margin, which included a sizable 17-4 edge on the offensive glass.
It was those kind of effort numbers that first-year MHS coach Scott Cleland was most proud of following the game. He also noted that more of that same effort will be needed in moving forward.
“Everyone contributed and we saw a lot of good things out of our kids, especially with our defensive intensity,” Cleland said. “We’ve been playing hard, forcing some turnovers and scoring some easy points over the last few weeks. We’ve really shown a lot of growth over that time and I’m proud of them for that, but we still have a lot of work to do and a long way to go.”
Conversely, first-year WHS coach John Arnott also noted some signs of growth from his troops — but the turnovers were once again too much for them to overcome.
“The girls are still playing hard and improving as the season goes along,” Arnott said. “We just keep committing too many turnovers. Once we can start cutting that number down, we’ll have a better chance of being competitive toward the end.”
Meigs connected on 21-of-64 field goal attempts for 33 percent, including a 2-of-19 effort from three-point range for 11 percent. The guests were also 10-of-15 at the free throw line for 67 percent.
Madison Fields led MHS with a game-high 13 points, followed by English with 10 points. Danielle Morris and Alli Hatfield were next with six points apiece, while Halley Barnes, Breanna Colburn and Kassidy Betzing each chipped in four markers.
Madison Hendricks was next with three points, while Sadie Fox and Marissa Noble concluded the winning tally with two markers each. Morris also led the guests with seven rebounds.
Wahama connected on 8-of-29 field goal attempts for 28 percent, including misses on all six of its trifecta attempts. The hosts were also 2-of-4 from the charity stripe for 50 percent.
Nena Hunt paced WHS with seven points, followed by VanMatre with six points and Hill with four markers. Faith Henry rounded out the Lady Falcon tally with one point and Destiny Ingles hauled in a game-high 12 rebounds.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.