MORGANTOWN, W. Va. — The Morgantown High girls’ basketball team got physical early and often with University junior Ashten Boggs Thursday, but she wasn’t going to let that stop her.
Despite leaving the game temporarily after a nasty fall in the second half, she bounced back with a 17-point fourth quarter performance to help the No. 3 Hawks secure the Class AAA Region I Section 2 championship with a 54-42 win. Boggs also recorded her 1,000th career point during the game.
“It’s amazing; I never would have expected to hit it as a junior. The whole team actually tried to keep it hidden from me to surprise me, but I found out. Just knowing they were there the whole time for me means more than they know,” Boggs said.
Boggs reached the milestone early in the third quarter, which served as a pre-cursor to her dominant play late. Boggs went 15-16 from the foul line in the final eight minutes of play, sealing the win for the Hawks against the No. 7 Mohigans after entering the fourth quarter holding a narrow 31-29 lead.
“She was a true leader tonight. I thought down the stretch, shooting foul shots and doing the things she did, it was huge. It’s huge for the program and for the rest of the kids for her to take charge like that,” University coach David Price said.
Boggs thrives under pressure at the line, and said she actively looks to keep the ball in her hands late in the game. She’s just that confident in her ability to win contests from the charity stripe.
“When I’m at the end of the game, I just want the ball because I’m confident in myself when it comes to free throws,” Boggs said. “Tonight, I told myself I need to make these free throws for my team to get us the sectional championship. I worked on foul shots all offseason.”
The game-winning performance from Boggs came following a third quarter collapse from Morgantown; the Mohigans held a 25-18 lead at the break, but converted just one shot from the field in the next eight minutes of play. Powered by a pair of Zoe Murphy three-pointers, the Hawks regained the lead on a nine-point swing.
“I thought we got scared to make a mistake down the stretch. It looked like we didn’t want to lose the game, and because we played not to lose, that’s exactly what happened. They went on a run and we couldn’t get a bucket,” Morgantown coach Jason White said.
“In the first half, we attacked the lane, made the extra pass, and we scored around the rim. Then we went away from it, and we tried to push the ball in transition and made some silly turnovers. We got really impatient offensively.”
Both teams will advance to the Class AAA Region I championships on Tuesday at 7 p.m. University will host the loser of today’s Wheeling Park/John Marshall matchup, while Morgantown will travel to the winner of that game.