University girls hold off late charge to beat Wheeling Park

MORGANTOWN — Despite being held to just five points and one field goal in the fourth quarter, University held off a late Wheeling Park rally to win 40-37 on Tuesday evening at UHS.

University evened the regular season series with its OVAC rival. Wheeling Park won a defensive struggle 38-32 back on Dec. 19 in Wheeling.

“It is great defense, people in their lanes and doing their jobs,” University head coach David Price said. “You have to give credit to Wheeling Park for how hard they play their defense. And it just makes for great games that aren’t very high scoring.”

In a tightly contested first half, neither team led by more than four points. Wheeling Park built leads of 10-6 and 17-13. But the Hawks closed the second quarter on a 9-3 run to take a 22-20 lead at the break.

UHS controlled play in the third quarter, outscoring the Patriots 13-5 to take a 35-27 lead with eight minutes to play. An Ashten Boggs layup in the opening minute of the fourth quarter gave the Hawks their largest lead of the game, 37-27.

That would be University’s final field goal of the game. Wheeling Park slowly chipped away at the deficit, closing the gap to 38-37 with a minute to play. But Boggs connected on a pair of free throws and the Hawks clamped down on the defensive end to post their most impressive win of the season. Wheeling Park (11-3) entered the game ranked third in this week’s MetroNews power index.

“For our program, it is huge,” Price said. “To get a win over a top program that has been going to Charleston every year, that just shows that we are maturing and we are ready to play against top competition.”

Shanley Woods led the Patriots with 13 points. Boggs paced the Hawks (10-5) with an 18-point effort. “She gives us that mismatch the she can finish.

“She kept us going and we needed every point, obviously.”

Wheeling Park will host Zanesville, Ohio, on Wednesday, while the Hawks will enjoy a few days off before traveling to Huntington on Saturday.

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