Potomac State women fall game short of national tournament

Chapin Jewell
Special to the News Tribune
Potomac State's Alexis Turner (21) and Kearstin Lucas (24), both of Keyser, are shown in action in the Regional championship game against Garrett.

KEYSER - After capturing the Region XX championship with a 72-52 win over Garrett College on Saturday, April 3, the Potomac State Lady Catamounts traveled to Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey to compete in the East District game on Saturday, April 10.  

In that game, Potomac State would face Union County College, winners of Region XIX for four years running.

Potomac State entered with a season record of 6-2, Union County was 13-3. The two were playing for a spot in the NCJAA Division II National Tournament in Port Huron, Michigan from April 20-April 24.  When the final buzzer sounded, despite a valiant effort from the Lady Catamounts, it would be Union County punching their ticket to the National Tournament with a 77-63 victory.

Union County started fast, controlling first period play by doubling up Potomac State by a score of 20-10. The second period, however, was a much closer contest, with Union County edging Potomac State in second stanza scoring by a thin margin of 20-17. At the break, Union was in control, however, by 13 points (40-27).

In the third frame, it would be the Lady Catamounts winning the battle by a tally of 20-15. As such, the two teams entered play in the fourth period with Union on top by only eight points, 55-47. In the fourth period, Union would ultimately extend their lead to 14 points, winning by a final score of 77-63.

“We came out with lots of energy but were flat on offense early. They were able to knock down shots which they had not done all year,” Potomac State head coach Larry Kruk stated. “We made several runs to get back in it but were never able to draw even. We made a strong push late in the third but, come up short. Our effort was outstanding, we just unfortunately fell short.”

In the victory, Union County was led by Samira Sargent with a game-high 31 points. The Owls had two other players scoring in double figures, Tatiana Bruno with 11 points, and Aliyah Williams with 10 points.

For Potomac State, the Lady Catamounts were led in double figures with Makenna Douthitt and Alexis Yanosky with 16 points, followed closely behind by Kearstin Lucas with 14 points. Douthitt tallied a double-double performance, also grabbing 12 rebounds. Lucas missed a double-double by just one rebound, grabbing nine for the game.

In addition, Alexis Turner added nine points, Madison Paris five points, Marleigh Bays two points, and Erica Merrill one points.  

With the win, Union County advances to the National Tournament with a record now of 13-3. Potomac State concludes their season with a final record of 6-3.

The Lady Catamounts roster consisted of three players from Mineral County, Kearstin Lucas and Alexis Taylor from Keyser, and Makenna Douthitt from Frankfort. Madison Paris was also local, hailing from Mountain Ridge High School, as was Jada Fout, who hailed from Hampshire High School. Alexis Yanosky also hailed from the region, being a graduate of Berlin-Brother’s Valley High School.  The remainder are from other parts of West Virginia.

According to Kruk, “We had a great year and displayed a lot of fight all season. Our ladies never quit and fought hard. We have some outstanding freshmen coming back next year, along with some great recruits as well. I am looking forward to what the future holds for this team. As a coach, I am very proud of what these young women have had to go through all year.”