LOGAN -- Road-weary, tested and improving -- George Washington will enter the Mountain State Athletic Conference portion of its schedule ready for some stability.
The Patriots followed a trip to Fairlea on Friday night with one to Logan on Saturday, and after falling to Greenbrier East in a narrow six-point tilt the night before, GW exploded out of the gate and buried host Logan 82-38 to finish off the Wildcat Classic Hoops Showcase.
Kalissa Lacy scored 23 of her game-high 28 points in the first half as the Patriots led 27-6 after the first quarter and 51-14 at halftime.
“We took our holiday across southern West Virginia the last couple of days,” GW coach Jamie LaMaster said. “But we like to get out and let people see our kids and luckily we played well.”
GW entered the season ranked No. 4 and has gone 3-3 to begin the season. All three losses have come on the road with the Patriots falling by five at Paul Blazer (Ky.) and by 18 at Rio Grande University to Fort Frye, Ohio. And while two of the losses have been tight, all three wins have been runaways with GW beating St. Albans by 39, Capital by 50 and now Logan by 44.
So, what does LaMaster make of his team’s start to the season?
“Right now it’s a 22-game season,” LaMaster said. “I’m seeing steady improvement.
“We keep talking to them about cleaning the little things up and we’re seeing slow and steady improvement and that’s all I can ask for right now.”
The Patriots will get another shot at a marquee win on Tuesday when they travel to Cabell Midland (8-0).
Lauren Harmison poured in 16 points to back Lacy, who also finished with five rebounds, six assists and four steals. A total of 11 Patriots scored with Kierstyn Fore adding nine points off the bench.
GW took 62 shots from the floor compared to just 27 for Logan. Peyton Ilderton led the Wildcats (2-5) with 14 points.
Both Wayne and North Marion entered Saturday’s tilt undefeated, but the Pioneers were largely untested.
That changed in a hurry as the Huskies (6-0) blitzed the Pioneers early, jumping out to a 21-7 lead after the first quarter en route to a 68-50 win.
Wayne coach Wade Williamson said slow starts have been a bit of a trend this season, and on Saturday, against a Huskies team that would seem to have the inside track on the top spot in the AP poll released on Monday, that early hole was much too deep to claw out of.
“The whole season we’ve had problems starting out and the same thing today,” Williamson said. “We were kind of shell-shocked a little bit and didn’t catch up to the speed of the game very quick.”
After that initial surge by North Marion, Wayne hung tough, cutting the deficit to 10 midway through the fourth quarter before the Huskies extended the lead again down the stretch.
The Pioneers (6-1) have made back-to-back runs to the state semifinals and again should be a factor in Class AA Region 4. But Williamson said he hopes Saturday serves as one of several learning tools along the way.
“We’ve got a lot of stuff before we even think about that,” Williamson said. “We’ve just got to get back to practice and get some stuff squared away and take care of the ball better. I thought our effort was good and I was really proud of the way we came back. We could’ve quit and we didn’t against a quality team.”