March 6, 2013
Spring Valley ends Capital's Cinderella run
Lawrence Pierce
Capitalfans.tif Capital High School fans cheer for their girls basketball team Wednesday night at the Charleston Civic Center. The girls team lost 84-60 to Spring Valley High School in the first round State Tournament game.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Once Spring Valley was comfortable Wednesday night, it was nearly unstoppable.

The Timberwolves' inside presence, combined with a tidal wave of pressure defense, overwhelmed Capital in an 84-60 victory in the opening round of Class AAA at the Charleston Civic Center.

Top-seeded Spring Valley (23-3), which advanced to states for the first time since 2003, will square off with the No. 4 Princeton-No. 5 Logan winner at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the semifinals. Princeton and Logan tangle at 11:15 a.m. today.

Timberwolves sophomore guard Sarah Kelly turned in a triple-double with 20 points on 6 of 11 shooting and 7 of 8 accuracy at the free-throw line, 12 assists and 10 steals, which set a single-game record. The old mark of nine steals was held by four different players and last achieved in 2009.

Sophomore post Madison Morris poured in 27 points on 12 of 22 shooting with 15 rebounds for Spring Valley, while sophomore forward Brooke Heck added 16 points, eight rebounds and five steals. The Timberwolves' most glaring advantage came in the paint, where they held a 50-24 scoring edge.

"I think after we got our nervousness out, we were good,'' said Morris. "We played our game, getting the ball out and pushing it down the floor for fast breaks.''

Capital (10-14), which had the only losing record among the other 23 teams in all three classes, upset No. 1, undefeated and defending state champion Greenbrier East in last week's regional co-finals. The Cougars lost to Spring Valley by 30 points (70-40) during the regular season.

The Cougars hadn't been to states since Alexis Hornbuckle and Renee Montgomery led them to the last of back-to-back titles in 2002.

"I'm extremely proud of the ladies,'' said Capital coach B.J. Calabrese. "At the beginning of the year, I don't think anybody other than the coaching staff gave us a good chance of ending up at the state tournament.

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