State Tournament: Morgantown executes plan, swarms Basey, Martinsburg
CHARLESTON, W.va. -- Morgantown had a plan for Martinsburg point guard Kieera Basey, and it worked to perfection for Coach Adam Henkins and the Mohigans.
Olivia Seggie and Alicia Golden helped hold the senior to two points and No. 2 seed Morgantown forced 27 turnovers in a 45-31 victory over the seventh-seeded Bulldogs (15-7) in the Class AAA quarterfinal round of the state tournament on Wednesday.
The Mohigans (20-5) advance to Friday's 9 p.m. semifinal contest against the winner of Wednesday's game between third-seeded Parkersburg South (16-7) and sixth-seeded Hedgesville (18-7).
Martinsburg, meanwhile, returns home after reaching the state tournament for the fourth time in five years.
The teams played on Jan. 12 with Morgantown winning its fourth consecutive game, 69-48, at Martinsburg.
However, the Bulldogs played without Basey, the niece of former Martinsburg and West Virginia University standout Marsalis Basey.
Martinsburg committed 26 turnovers that game.
"We were kind of nervous going in," Henkins said. "We were able to apply pressure last time without their point guard. Between Seggie and Golden on her, I think they had her frustrated a lot. We put a lot of emphasis on knowing where she was."
Basey was in a knee brace, playing in only her seventh full game of the season after straining her anterior cruciate ligament during the team's second scrimmage.
"She leads our county (Berkeley) in assists in just seven games," Martinsburg Coach Wes Hall said. "She leaves everything out on the court every night. She's an impressive kid."
Basey, who has spent most of her formative years being taught and conditioned at her uncle's basketball camps, struggled in this one.
She was just 1-of-9 from the floor, 0-of-2 from 3-point range, and although she had four assists, Basey also had four turnovers in 31 minutes.
Despite his team's shooting struggles - Martinsburg was 10-of-37 from the floor and 1-of-10 from the 3-point line - Hall was able to make light of the result.
"I'm going to blame the ball," Hall said jokingly. "When we dribbled it, it was flat. So, when you shot it, it didn't roll right. The Civic Center, they do that to you. Our balls back home are better inflated."
Conversely, the Mohigans had no player with more than 23 minutes, had nine play at least 12 and their leading scorer was Leah Taylor with 11.
Morgantown shot 52 times, making 17, and was just 3-of-12 from long range and 8-of-16 from the foul line.
"I don't feel like we played one of our best offensive games," said Henkins, whose Mohigans have won nine of their last 10 games. "We struggled shooting a little bit in close, outside, but defense kept us in the game. We were able to keep pressure on them."
Kiana Bullett, the niece of former Major League outfielder Scott Bullett, had 10 points to lead Martinsburg.
Essence Underwood led the Bulldogs with seven rebounds and Allison Thompson matched that total for the Mohigans.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4837.