W.Va. champ downs Mill Creek in semifinals

SANDY SPRINGS -- The Mill Creek girls found out why Huntington St. Joseph's is a heavy favorite to win a fifth straight Class A state championship in West Virginia.

You don't have to look past Mychal Johnson, who has verbally committed to Notre Dame.

The 5-foot-8 junior scored 28 points and St. Joseph's (7-0) rolled to a 65-48 victory over Mill Creek on Friday in the semifinals of the White Division of Peach State Basketball's Holiday Invitational at Holy Innocents'.

"We sent a lot of players to college, but we've never had anyone like her," said coach Shannon Lewis. "She's special."

Mill Creek (8-5) certainly won't argue with that.

Johnson had 17 first-half points as St. Joseph's jumped ahead 39-24 at intermission and finished 12-for-15 at the foul line led by more than 25 points at times in the second half.

Nadya Miller, who hit a trio of 3-pointers, scored 16 for Mill Creek, but the Hawks had no one else with more than six points.

St. Joseph's will play the Webb School of Knoxville for the White Division championship today at 2:15 p.m.

Mill Creek falls into the consolation bracket, where it will face Germantown Academy (Pa.) at 9:30 a.m.

The Hawks, down by 20 points late in the second quarter, cut the St. Joseph's lead to 42-32 early in the third. But the Irish scored 10 straight points and led 52-35 going into the final quarter.

Tabor Ragsdale scored six late points for Mill Creek to make the final score that same 17-point margin.

"We lost a 6-foot-4 girl, so we don't have a lot of height," Lewis said. "But our guard play is very good. That's what makes us go."

Webb (Tenn.) 48, Duluth 38

Duluth, without two starters, couldn't sustain a strong start and lost to Webb 48-38 to drop into a White Division consolation game today at 12:30 p.m. against Nova of Davie, Fla.

With Katie Powell dominating, the Wildcats (8-4) took leads of 12-2 and 20-10 over the Knoxville school. But Webb scored 10 straight points to tie the game at halftime and took control in the second half as Duluth battled foul trouble.

Powell, who fouled out in the fourth quarter, scored 12 of her 15 points in the first half. Joi Jones scored 12 for the Wildcats, but drew her fourth foul late in the third quarter.

Duluth was already without one regular because of an out-of-town trip and Alyah McGriff missed the game with a sprained ankle suffered late in the first-round victory over Germantown after she had scored 14 points.

"I don't like excuses," Duluth coach Chad Pittman said. "I'm very disappointed with the way we played."

Micah Scheetz led Webb (12-4) with 15 points, with eight of them coming late in the second quarter when the Spartans got back in the game. Webb led 32-28 after three quarters before pulling away in the fourth.

Jazmyn Johnson had six points for Duluth and freshman Rebecca Erwin came off the bench to match Powell's six rebounds.