CHARLESTON – Freshman Jarrod West’s long-range shooting was too much for Tucker County to overcome in a 63-57 overtime loss to No. 2 seed Notre Dame Thursday afternoon in Class A state tournament quarterfinal play at the Charleston Civic Center.
West, a freshman guard, finished with 28 points, including a perfect 5-for-5 effort from 3-point land.
It was the first-ever state tournament victory for the Irish.
“He played well and made some big shots,” Notre Dame coach Jarrod West said of his son. “It was a typical Notre Dame (versus) Tucker County game.
“It was a dog fight until the end and we knew it was going to be a war.”
The Mountain Lions had battled back from an 18-13 deficit after the first quarter to tie the game at 26 at the intermission.
The game remained tied at 52 in the closing seconds of regulation.
Tucker County (17-7) had a chance to win the game in the closing seconds, but a shot attempt by Ian Nichols rimmed out, along with a follow-up effort.
“We had two shots at the end to win it,” said Tucker County coach Tom Gutshall, who officially announced his retirement after the game.
“The kids played hard but we had way too many turnovers.
“Credit Notre Dame. They made their shots and we didn’t.”
West’s trey to start overtime gave the Irish the lead for good. The Mountain Lions never came closer after a pair of free throws by Derek Zirk made it 57-55 with 1:09 left.
Cal Cistaro added 19 points and 11 rebounds for Notre Dame.
Nichols finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for Tucker County. Zirk added 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Mitchell Mason chipped in with 10 points.
“I have great respect for coach Gutshall and the tradition at Tucker County,” coach West said. “It was a great game and we’re just happy to advance.”
Notre Dame (21-4) will face Charleston Catholic at 11:15 a.m. today in the semifinals.
Tucker County loses four seniors – Nichols, Austin Zirk, Mason and Zach Armstrong.