No team in the West Virginia boys’ basketball history had gone 28-0.
There’s now just one team that has that distinction: the 2018-2019 Webster County Highlanders.
Dorian Groggs’ 16 second half points were the difference in there being a zero and a one in the loss coloumn for his team.
Groggs heated up in the second half, as did the rest of his team, outscoring Parkersburg Catholic 31-15 in the second half, to come back from being down by 11 points in the third quarter to claim the Highlanders first-ever state title by a final score of 47-40.
“We came out in the second half, and it was a great game. Great game to coach. And we got after them again on defense. And I think that was the turning point of the game. We had three steals going into half and ended up with nine. So that was probably the turning point of the game was our defense,” said Webster County head coach Michael Gray.
Webster County forced 17 turnovers, and scored 22 points off of those turnovers.
Groggs made three 3-pointers in the second half, maybe none bigger than the corner three he hit with 2:53 to go in the fourth. It came off a pass from fellow senior leader Tyler Gray, whose shot wasn’t falling Saturday. Instead, Gray drove, and kicked the ball out, and Groggs put the Highlanders up by six.
With it, the Highlanders completed the perfect season, becoming the first Single-A team since Paden City in 1987 to finish the season with a perfect record.
It’s also the first title in Webster County athletics history.
As big as Groggs, Gray and Drew Holcomb, who scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds were, the large and loud Highlander crowd made an impact.
“We had seven busses today – fans. Some of those kids drove 45 minutes to come to the high school to get on the bus and come watch these kids play. That atmosphere out there today was just awesome. That’s the way it should be at all games here. I’ve been to a lot of games but I don’t think I’ve been to a state tournament with an atmostphere like that with a team that we had today,” said coach Gray.
The fan support was very evident after the game.
Many fans – and players – brought to tears due to the victory. The Highlander players spent a while going down the long line of fans, giving each hugs and high fives over the guardrails in place to keep fans off the court.
It’s been a long time coming for these fans to celebrate. And celebrate, they will.
Highlights of this game will be posted later tonight.