Western Tech owns the boards in 54-51 win over Fort Hill

Western Tech dominated on the inside and outside early and then held on for a 54-51 victory over Fort Hill in the Class 1A state semifinals Friday night at UMBC's RAC Arena.

The win propels the Wolverines to Saturday's 6 p.m. state championship game against Dunbar at the same venue.

Senior Ateh Ade scored 15 points and grabbed 24 of the Wolverines' 44 rebounds, including 11 in the third quarter.

She had 13 boards off the offensive glass.

"It was just all out hustle," said Ade, who added four blocked shots. "Every time I saw the ball I just tried to get it."

Jayde Duncan added seven rebounds and four blocks for the Wolverines (23-4), who were making their first trip to the state semifinals.

Sophomore guard Sydney Clopton (game-high 20 points) and senior guard Tyshay Montgomery (14 points, 3 assists) set the tone early with frequent penetration and they never relented.

"I just saw the lane was wide open," Montgomery said.

Clopton's drive led to a basket that gave the Wolverines a 6-4 lead with 4:07 left in the first quarter, and they never trailed.

They opened up a 28-18 halftime lead, and the closest the Sentinels (20-6) came was the three-point margin at the end when Alesha Jackson (11 points) hit a basket at the buzzer.

Alyssia Twigg led Fort Hill with 14 points.

Western Tech put the game away by making 10 free throws in the final period. Clopton, who was 11 for 19 from the free throw line, made 5 of 7 down the stretch.

"Our speed and size benefited us all night," Western Tech coach Nolan Roe said. "We dominated the boards for the most part."

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