CHARLESTON - The Tygarts Valley High School girls basketball team will be participating in the state tournament for the first time since 2003 as they play host to St. Marys in the first round of the Class A State tournament Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. at the Charleston Civic Center.
"The kids are very excited about heading to Charleston and playing in the state tournament," Tygarts Valley coach Mike DiPasquale said. "The community has been very supportive about us going.
"Unfortunately we had to cancel the pep bus because of the snow storm coming," he said.
The Lady Bulldogs?(17-7) advanced to the state tournament after defeating Pocahontas County 45-40 last week in the regional final.
Tygarts Valley played St. ?Marys earlier in the season, losing to them 71-43 in the first round of the West Virginia Hometown Invitational tournament.
"I like our matchup," DiPasquale said. "I?think we can play with them if we play well."
The Lady Bulldogs are led by senior point guard Shanda Howell, who is leading the team in scoring at 19.0 points per game and 5.3 rebounds per game.
Following Howell in scoring is junior forward Paige Pritt at 9.3 points per game and 6.8 rebounds for the Lady Bulldogs.
Juniors Kelsey Arbogast (6.4) and Emily Pingley (4.9) are also key threats for Tygarts Valley's offense.
St. Marys (23-1) advanced to the state tournament by defeating Magnolia 70-29.
The Lady Blue Devils are led by senior forward Audra Clark who leads the team in scoring at 18.0 points per game, followed by junior center Kendra Clark at 13.6 and senior guard Abigail?Fetty at 10.1 points per game.
"We need to watch Audra Clark and Kendra Walker. They are very good players," DiPasquale said.
"If we can contain them I think we could be in the game, but if we don't do that it could be a long game."