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Jefferson girls chasing best season in many years

By Bob Madison - For the Chronicle | Apr 9, 2021

Jordan Carr (11) shoots from the outside, during Jefferson High School’s 49-39 winning game at Washington High School on Saturday. David Pennock

SHEPHERDSTOWN — When Martinsburg was trimmed, 50-48, and then Musselman was tamed, 50-46, the Jefferson girls basketball team had taken two giant strides toward the top of the area’s standings.

Like every girls or boys high school team in West Virginia, the Cougars had to basically forget or just use their earlier games against any Virginia school as a practice or scrimmage because they were informed after the fact that those events could not be counted.

That left the Jefferson girls with scheduled games against Eastern Panhandle schools.

With a roster of seniors (Christina Armstrong, Caitlyn Brown, Bre Carpenter, Jordan Carr, Catrina Myers, Lindsey Carpenter and Macie Chrisman) and sophomores (Heaven Murray, Haley Shanley, Olivia Hedrick, Taliyah Lindsey and Mackenzie Brezone), Jefferson began to systematically reel off win-after-win against the local competition.

Through last weekend, the fast-rising Cougars had beaten Martinsburg twice, easily dismantled Hedgesville both times the teams played and tripped Musselman twice.

Catrina Myers (12) attacks the basket in the second half of Jefferson EPAC win over Washington on Saturday. David Pennock

With both Spring Mills and Washington searching for more consistency and more points, the Cougars have crested their 2021 season and now lead the way toward the postseason tournaments.

As of April 1, there will be a state tournament held — not like last season when all but one day of that event had to be canceled by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Besides the fact that games are actually being played this late in the year, there are other previously unseen happenings concerning high school basketball.

The state’s governing board for high school athletics (West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission) has undertaken a two-season experiment that has changed the classification system. There will a Class AAAA division added that gives the state four classes (including Class AAA, Class AA and Class A).

Jefferson has been placed in the Class AAAA division along with the other five schools located in either Jefferson County or Berkeley County. There will be a total of 29 schools in the newly-created Class AAAA division.

The best of the Class AAAA division teams here in 2021 seem to be Huntington, Wheeling Park, Cabell Midland, Morgantown and George Washington. The remainder of the Class AAA division has Parkersburg, Parkersburg South, University, Hurricane, Beckley Woodrow Wilson, Capital, St. Albans, Bridgeport, Greenbrier East, South Charleston, Spring Valley, Brooke, Princeton, Oak Hill, John Marshall, Buckhannon, Preston and Riverside.

Should Jefferson successfully wade through the Sectional (played April 10-17) and Regional (played April 20-22), it would land in the eight-school State Tournament (to be played April 27-May 1).

Not only has the pandemic been tamed enough by many precautions, so the Jefferson girls have suddenly become the team to be reckoned with in the much-changed 2021 season.