WESTOVER, W. Va. — The last time the Lewis County High School girls basketball team went to the state tournament, it was the same year the current seniors were born. The 18-year drought ended on Tuesday with a resounding 69-42 win over Philip Barbour.
The Minutemaids dominated from the opening inbounds pass.
They outscored the Colts 21-8 after the first quarter and never relinquished the double-digit lead. Lewis County took a 15-point lead into the halftime break, capping the half off with a nice and-one from senior guard Shyanna James with 0.5 seconds left.
The lead only grew in the second half.
“We knew what we wanted and how hard we worked for this,” James said postgame. “We knew we had to keep hitting the gas.”
James led the game with 17 points with a pair of three-pointers. She was one of four Minutemaids to score in double figures to push the team to Charleston for the state tournament. A senior, James is joined by six other classmates who will compete for a state title for the first time in their final season.
“From day one of this season, this is what the expectation was,” said Minutemaids head coach Kenton Bozic. “We had a few downfalls in the middle of the season, but we come right back, and this is what we’ve been working on all year and we finally eclipsed that goal.
While he was taking in the moment and celebrating with his team, Bozic remained focused on what lied ahead. He explained that though reaching the state tournament is an incredible achievement, he’s hoping to win a few games while the Minutemaids are in Charleston.