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BOYS STATES: St. Joe Central Tops Notre Dame

Cover photo by WV Sports Photography for RSN Sports

St-1  St Joe vs ND drive 1

By Rich Stevens

Fifth-seeded St. Joseph came back from a seven-point deficit with 3:15 remaining, scoring 13 of the game’s final 15 points to earn the second upset of the day — albeit a mild one — with a 54-50 win over No. 4 Notre Dame (19-4) in the final quarterfinal game of the 2016 West Virginia boys high school state basketball tournament on Thursday.

In the last Class AAA quarterfinal of the tournament, No. 6 Parkersburg South upended No. 3 Capital 87-86 in two overtimes.

St. Joseph (20-6) didn’t need extra time.

In fact, coach Ross Scaggs saw his team get down by eight to Notre Dame with 4:46 left, its biggest deficit of the contest.

Junior Jarrod West, the only double figure scorer for Notre Dame, had 19 points, five assists and three rebounds with his last points coming on a three-point play at the 3:15 mark.

“We had a couple turnovers and still had a five-point lead down the stretch,” coach Jarrod West said. “We just couldn’t hold it.”

Notre Dame was plagued by poor foul shooting, hitting just 6-of-14 attempts. St. Joseph, which faces No. 1 Magnolia in the semifinals at 7:15 p.m. on Friday, was 5-of-6 from the line beginning with a pair of foul shots from John Dawson that cut the lead to one with 1:31 left. Keith Clemons stole the ball seven seconds later, leading to a Deaundra Murphy layup to give St. Joseph the lead for good.

“We came back and switched defenses in the fourth quarter the last couple minutes,” St. Joe coach Ross Scaggs said. “We went to a zone press and it seemed to work. This is our third game with Notre Dame and every one has gone down to the wire.”

St. Joseph lost at Notre Dame 68-65 on Dec. 29 before winning the return matchup in Huntington 66-65.

St. Joseph’s balance featured three double-figure scorers. Dawson had 18 points, Clemons 17 and Murphy 14. Murphy also had 19 rebounds to lead the way for the victors. Jacob Streiter had 12 boards as St. Joe held a 42-31 edge on rebounds.

Semifinal Friday at the state tournament begins at 9:30 a.m. with a Class AA matchup between No. 3 Fairmont Senior (21-5) and No. 2 Bridgeport (23-2). The Indians swept the regular-season series, winning at home 67-56 and at Fairmont 56-47.

At 11:15 a.m., No. 3 Tug Valley (20-3) faces No. 2 Wheeling Central (23-2), before the morning session concludes with a 1 p.m. matchup between defending Class AA champion and top-seeded Poca (24-2) against  No. 4 Wyoming East (20-4).

The evening session gets underway at 5:30 p.m. with No. 1 and unbeaten Morgantown (25-0) battling No. 4 Woodrow Wilson (24-2), followed by Class A No. 1 and defending champion Magnolia (22-2) facing No. 5 St. Joseph (20-6) at 7:15 p.m.

The final semifinal will pit two-time defending Class AAA champion and second-seeded Huntington (24-1) against No. 6 Parkersburg South (19-7).

Saturday’s championship games begin with the Class AA final at noon, followed by Class A at 2:30 p.m. before the Class AAA championship set for 7:15 p.m.

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