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Girls basketball: Even at 4-1, GW still searching for points

The George Washington girls basketball team began the season ranked third in the statewide coaches' poll.

The Patriots fell to ninth after losing 51-47 at home to second-ranked Wheeling Park.

Even though George Washington has rebounded to win its last four games, Coach Jamie LaMaster is still concerned about the way the Patriots are playing.

"Before the season I didn't think scoring was going to be a problem," he said. "I was worried about the other teams scoring."

With the exception of an 88-point outburst at home against Nitro, LaMaster's preseason prediction has been turned inside out.

In the four other games the Patriots (4-1) have averaged just 43.3 points a game.

The Patriots have swept all four because opponents averaged just 33.5 points.

"The shots are there," LaMaster said. "We're just not scoring."

GW senior guard Rachel Ward scored a career-high 40 points in the 88-61 win over the Wildcats and junior forward Kelli Harrison had 27.

But Ward has averaged just 12.5 points in the other four games and Harrison 13.

"We have to get those two to score or we are in trouble," LaMaster said. "It is a concern."

So is the first week after Christmas break when the Patriots play Cabell Midland, Bridgeport and Huntington.

"We're lucky to be 4-1," LaMaster said. "We could be 4-4 real quick if we don't start scoring."

*  *  *

IT SOUNDS like South Charleston Coach John Testa's tenure may be a single year.

The Black Eagles (5-3) are off to a pretty good start under the first-year coach.

Freshman Taliah Cashwell is leading the Black Eagles in scoring with 13.1 points per game.

South Charleston lost all five starters from last season's State Tournament team and former coach Gary Greene took a one-year hiatus due to a sickness in his family.

Greene was at the Charleston Civic Center last Wednesday watching his former team in action against George Washington.

He indicated that things are going better with his family's health and he may well be ready to come back next season.

Greene led the Black Eagles to four straight State Tournament appearances and a 90-15 record in his four years at the helm.

Testa took the job under the condition it may be for only one season.

If he returns Testa could be a top candidate for any high school job that becomes available.

*  *  *

PRINCETON STAR McKenzie Akers has committed to Marshall University.

Akers was an All-Mountain State Athletic Conference first-team selection and a Class AAA All-State selection last season.

Her older sister, Tesla, is a senior at Ferrum College in Virginia, where she is averaging a team-leading 13.8 points per game.

*  *  *

HURRICANE MAYOR Scott Edwards can never be accused of not supporting the high school teams in his town.

Edwards was asked by game officials to leave last week's Hurricane girls basketball game.

The Redskins were playing South Charleston and Edwards was seated a few rows behind the South Charleston bench.

The Black Eagles coaches spoke with the officials during a break in the action. They went to the school administrator at the game who spoke briefly with Edwards.

After a few moments Edwards got up and left the game.

*  *  *

THERE WILL most likely be a new No. 1 team in Class AAA when the next rankings are released.

University (5-0), ranked seventh, defeated top-ranked Morgantown 49-41 and second-ranked Wheeling Park 67-44 last week.

Putting a damper on the Hawks' celebrations was the loss of starting guard Shae Chico to a torn anterior cruciate ligament with 30 seconds remaining in the win over the Mohigans.

Greenbrier East and Princeton are also undefeated at 5-0.


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