WVC women's tournament: Snyder helps Falcons advance past Bobcats
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Fairmont State senior Kaitlin Snyder will play another day, thus, giving her another opportunity to become the school's all-time leading scorer.
That's not what is important to the former Sissonville High School All-State guard, but her 15 points on Wednesday helped the Falcons advance to the West Virginia Conference tournament semifinals with a 65-54 victory over West Virginia Wesleyan (9-18).
The third-seeded Falcons (21-9) face second-seeded West Liberty (21-7) in Friday's 1 p.m. semifinal. It's the first time Fairmont State has reached the conference semifinals since winning the tournament championship in 2010.
As for Snyder, she eclipsed the 2,000-point mark on Wednesday, and has 2,008 career points - 34 shy of breaking Kristen Gattuso's mark of 2,041 set from 2001-05.
"It comes with the wins," Snyder said. "I don't really care about the scoring aspect, I just want to make it to the championship. It's nice, I think it's an accomplishment, but, ultimately I think I would rather just come out and win."
Snyder got the win and finished 2.3 points below her scoring average. Briana Welch finished with 18 points and seven rebounds and former North Marion star Hailey Garrett had 11 points and 13 boards.
Tiffany Nicholson, another former North Marion standout, and Hallie Gunnoe, a former Summers County star, added 10 points apiece.
The battle of two of the last four champions - Fairmont State in 2010 and Wesleyan last year - belonged to Fairmont most of the way, but Wesleyan closed to within 39-31 with 15:23 remaining.
Following a timeout by the Falcons, Fairmont went on a 22-3 run that all but iced the result with 7:17 left.
"What we were doing right is we were playing defense first," said Wesleyan coach Jacqueline DeVane, who was 5-0 in the WVC tournament until Wednesday's loss. "Even when we weren't scoring we were able to hold them. What we stopped doing was playing that defense.
"Sometimes you have kids who play defense off their offense, but it should be the other way around."
Brittany Williams had 15 points and five rebounds to lead Wesleyan, which didn't have any other double-figure scorers.
Allie Browne, a freshman from Hurricane, had three points, five assists and four rebounds in her first appearance at the Civic Center, at least, she said, since middle school.
For Fairmont State's part, the Falcons will face West Liberty in the tournament for the first time since the 2010 championship game. Fairmont won that contest 85-78 in overtime.
"It feels a lot like the same (as 2010)," said Snyder, who was a freshman on that team with current teammate Tiffany Nicholson. "We had a lot of seniors our freshman year. We have a lot of seniors now. I do feel like the maturity level is more so than other teams."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at email@example.com or 304-348-4837.