Making tracks to Charleston

DUNMORE – Tygarts Valley earned its first state tournament appearance since 2003 with a 45-40 win over Pocahontas County Thursday night in a Class A, Region 2 final.

The Lady Bulldogs (17-7) will learn their opponent in Charleston today when the state pairings are announced.

Tygarts Valley took the lead for good at 41-40 in a tightly-contested affair on basket by Emily Pingley with 4 minutes left in regulation.

The Lady Warriors, meanwhile, were held scoreless after two free throws from freshman Melissa Murphy gave the hosts their final lead at 40-39 with 5 minutes to play.

“We played our best defensive game of the season tonight,” Tygarts Valley coach Mike DiPasquale said. “The girls came out and executed the game plan to perfection and forced them to take some tough shots.”

The Lady Bulldogs secured the victory on a jumper by Shanda Howell, followed by two free throws from Charity Lower with 45.7 seconds remaining.

“The entire team played a part in this win,” DiPasquale said. “I really want to recognize our bench players. They did a great job of getting us ready in practice for this game and we wouldn’t be going to Charleston if it wasn’t for them.”

Howell, who was plagued by foul problems, finished with 20 points to lead Tygarts Valley. Paige Pritt added 15 points, and had a key blocked shot late in the game.

Murphy finished with 12 points for the Lady Warriors, who end the season 17-6.