Saunders sparks Lady Warriors


Emily Saunders of Wyoming East puts up a shot in last Wedneday’s 70-47 victory over George Washingtonn in the Big Atlantic Classic at Beckley.


It was a typical night for Wyoming East girls basketball.

More winning and more injuries.

Emily Saunders scored 30 points and had 20 rebounds and Jasmine Blankenship tossed in 23 as the Lady Warriors rolled over AAA George Washington, 70-47, in the Big Atlantic Classic semifinals on Wednesday night at the Beckley Raleigh County Convention Center.

The Lady Warriors won their 12th straight game and played without starters Kara Sandy (knee) and Misa Quesenberry (arm). Backup guard Kelsey Green sprained an ankle near the end of the game.

Despite an ever shortening bench, East had the upper hand from the start. That hand, often, belonged to Saunders.

The 6-5 center scored inside on the Warriors opening possession.

Then she scored and scored again on the smaller Patriots.

“We knew they would have trouble matching up with her,” said WEHS coach Angie Boninsegna. “Our girls did a great job of looking for Emily and getting the ball to her.”

Blankenship sank a three to give East the lead for good at 7-5.

Another Saunders bucket and a drive by Blankenship made it 11-5.

A Saunders put back gave the Warriors a 19-12 edge after one quarter.

GW got within 21-17 but was never that close again.

East went on an 8-0 spurt.

Katie Daniels started it with a foul shot and Blankenship made two free throws.

Daniels took it to the hoop and then drained a three. It was 29-17.

The Warrior defense, for the most part, was able to limit the Patriots to shots from the perimeter.

By the time Saunders scored her last bucket of the half, East had a 38-22 lead.

The East lead grew to 20, 44-24, on a Saunders score and to 24, 50-26, when Megan Davis made two foul shots.

George Washington shaved the margin to 52-37 early in the final period. The Warriors responded with five quick points and stayed in command.

Saunders had six blocked shots to go with her points and rebounds.

Blankneship had nine assists and seven rebounds.

Daniels scored eight. Davis tallied six and dished out four assists.

The Warriors had a 40-20 rebounding advantage and shot 62 percent from the floor.

Tory Self notched 14 for GW and Dee McMillan finished with 10.

The Patriots shot 32 percent on the night.

East is in the BAC final for the first time since 2005, when it finished as runner-up to Huntington.

Game notes: It was the first basketball meeting between East and George Washington.

John Conley can be reached at 304-732-6060 or on Twitter @PIHnews.

Emily Saunders of Wyoming East puts up a shot in last Wedneday’s 70-47 victory over George Washingtonn in the Big Atlantic Classic at Beckley.
http://independentherald.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/web1_DSC_0450-1.jpgEmily Saunders of Wyoming East puts up a shot in last Wedneday’s 70-47 victory over George Washingtonn in the Big Atlantic Classic at Beckley.
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