CHARLESTON — After ripping through a one-loss campaign that concluded with a second-straight Class AAA championship, it is little surprise to see Parkersburg well represented in terms of postseason awards.
That success certainly shone through in terms of the Class AAA All-State team where four Big Reds were honored with senior Shay-Lee Kirby and junior Madi Mace each being named to the first team.
Kirby, who averaged 17.7 points per game, hit 51 3-pointers and shot 49 percent from the floor, was named captain of the eight-player first team as chosen by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
“Shay came back with a whole different attitude and you just kind of had to be around her for four years to appreciate how far she came,” Parkersburg coach Scott Cozzens said. “We started the season with [forward] Bre [Wilson] on the DL and then Madi went down and we really didn’t miss a beat. Shay was the one constant. She kept everything together. I can’t say enough about her. She became a real leader. She matured and just had a calmness about her.”
It marked the first, first-team selection for Kirby, who was the second-team captain a year ago and the third in as many years for Mace, who averaged 15.7 points, 5.1 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 3.2 steals per contest despite missing six games this season.
The Big Reds weren’t the only team with two representatives on the first team. George Washington, which fell in a Region 3 co-final to Greenbrier East, also landed two players in senior guard Katy Darnell and sophomore guard Kalissa Lacy.
Darnell made the first team for the second straight year, averaging 16.2 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals per game while Lacy’s scoring mark of 17.9 points per game led the Mountain State Athletic Conference. Kirby was just behind with Darnell finishing third. It was the second straight season that Darnell and Lacy finished in the top three in the league scoring race.
“Honestly, it’s a credit to Katy and Kalissa and the work that they put in and how they present themselves on the court, off the court and in the community,” GW coach Jamie LaMaster said. “They’re both multi-sport athletes and they manage their schedules and the classroom and playing in the MSAC and putting up those numbers against the schedule we played really speaks volumes.”
University, which fell to Parkersburg in the state championship game, wasn’t without representation as junior Ashten Boggs (16 points, 10 rebounds, four assists per game) earned her inaugural first-team nod as did John Marshall senior Shay Straughn (24.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, 5.1 steals per game) and Parkersburg South junior Makenna Winans (14.7 points, 7.1 rebonds, 2.4 blocks per game).
Greenbrier East junior Haley McClure rounded out the first team after leading the Spartans to the state tournament, averaging 16.7 points per game along the way. It was the second straight first-team selection for McClure.
Woodrow Wilson’s Laken Ball captain the second team after helping keep the Flying Eagles ranked solidly in the top 10 all season. Ball was joined by South Charleston teammates Myra Cuffee (junior) and Lavender Ward (senior), Parkersburg’s Bre Wilson, University’s Zoe Murphy, Morgantown’s Kaitlyn Ammons and Wheeling Park’s Shanley Woods.
Huntington junior post player Madison Slash captained the third team and was joined by Big Reds junior Aleea Crites, Martinsburg’s Morganne Andrews, Greenbrier East’s Emma Dotson, Buckhannon-Upshur’s Alli Robinson, Parkersburg South’s Sierra Hays, Woodrow Wilson’s Victoria Staunton and Morgantown’s Sydni Clawges
Robinson, a 5-8 senior guard, missed nine games with an injury in the latter part of the season, but still led the Lady Bucs in scoring with 12.2 points per game.
She led the Lady Bucs in rebounding with 6.7 per game and in blocks with seven.
Two Lady Bucs landed on the Honorable mention list – Audrey Gaudet and Brooklyn Maxwell.
Gaudet, a 5-8 senior forward, played in all 23 Lady Buc games and was second on the team in scoring averaging 11.1 points per game.
She was also second on the team in assists with 55 (2.4 per game) and in rebounding, averaging with 5.7 rebounds per game.
Maxwell, a 5-6 junior guard, averaged 8.7 points per game playing in 21 contests.
She averaged 5.6 rebounds per game, 2.1 steals per game and 1.3 assists per game.
Class AAA Girls All-State Basketball Team as selected by the West Virginia Sports Writers Association.
Shay-Lee Kirby, Parkersburg, Sr. (captain)
Katy Darnell, George Washington, Sr.
Madi Mace, Parkersburg, Jr.
Haley McClure, Greenbrier East, Jr.
Ashten Boggs, University, Jr.
Makenna Winans, Parkersburg South, Jr.
Shay Straughn, John Marshall, Sr.
Kalissa Lacy, George Washington, So.
Laken Ball, Woodrow Wilson, Sr. (captain)
Bre Wilson, Parkersburg, Jr.
Shanley Woods, Wheeling Park, Jr.
Zoe Murphy, University, Sr.
Myra Cuffee, South Charleston, Jr.
Kaitlyn Ammons, Morgantown, So.
Taylor Scott, Princeton, Jr.
Lavender Ward, South Charleston, Sr.
Madison Slash, Huntington, Jr. (captain)
Aleea Crites, Parkersburg, Jr.
Morganne Andrews, Martinsburg, Jr.
Emma Dotson, Greenbrier East, So.
Alli Robinson, Buckhannon-Upshur, Sr.
Sierra Hays, Parkersburg South, Sr.
Victoria Staunton, Woodrow Wilson, Jr.
Sydni Clawges, Morgantown, Sr.
Bella Abernathy, Wheeling Park; Danijah Allen, Capital; Rylee Allie, Cabell Midland; Christina Armstrong, Jefferson; Abby Blake, John Marshall; Hope Bowman, Brooke; Talayah Boxley, Capital; Jada Brooks, Spring Mills; Elizabeth Cadle, Woodrow Wilson; Amya Damon, Greenbrier East; Janaia Fargo, Musselman; Cloey Frantz, Woodrow Wilson; Audrey Gaudet, Buckhannon-Upshur; Hannah Gordon, Hampshire; Kaitlyn Groves, John Marshall; Lauren Harmison, George Washington; Autumn Hill, Greenbrier East; Jaelyn Hunt, Ripley; Tiarra Jackson, St. Albans; Amelia Jenkins, Martinsburg; Kenzie Johnson, Parkersburg South; Meghan Kearns, Hedgesville; Maddi Leggett, Parkersburg; Nadia Legros, Hurricane; Brooklyn Maxwell, Buckhannon-Upshur; Hayley McComas, Spring Valley; Mallory Napolillo, University; Emily Pavlic, Wheeling Park; Bre Saunders, Spring Valley; Carsynn Sines, Preston; Katie Swann, Huntington; Jasmine Symns, Riverside; Michelle Thomas, Preston; Alezha Turner, Huntington; Lashae Watts, South Charleston; Maliha Witten, South Charleston.