Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Patterson's Size Helps Hazelwood West Claim Duchesne Tournament Crown

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Patterson's Size Helps Hazelwood West Claim Duchesne Tournament Crown

Article excerpt

ST. CHARLES * Life is not easy at 6-foot-6-inches tall.

It's even more difficult for a 14-year-old girl.

But Hazelwood West sophomore Abigayle Patterson is handling it.

"The hardest part is trying to find pants," Patterson said. "And jackets. Nothing fits."

Patterson is slowly learning to enjoy her extremely tall, lanky frame especially on the basketball court where size is a huge advantage.

The gangly forward turned in one of the best performances of her career on Friday while helping the Wildcats to a thrilling 45-44 win over Father Tolton in the championship game of the 41st annual Duchesne Girls Christmas Tournament at Duchesne High.

Patterson scored a game-high 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds for the third-seeded Wildcats, who won the tournament for the first time since 2010 when they beat Westminster 57-53 in the championship game.

West (5-3) recorded its fifth successive win after starting the campaign with three consecutive losses of 20 points or more.

The Wildcats staged a coming out party of sorts with a statement performance against top-seeded Father Tolton, a Catholic school located in Columbia.

"We weren't expecting to be this good, this quick," West coach Kelly Russell said. "All year, we've been talking about putting money in the piggy bank, saving for the future. Right now, we're way ahead of schedule."

The Wildcats start three sophomores, one freshman and a junior. They are a team on the rise

"At the beginning of the season we weren't looking good," admitted Patterson. "Now, first place."

Freshman Taleah Dilworth led the way Friday with 18 points. Joshlyn Robinson and Mykel Mathews came up with big plays down the stretch.

"The first couple games we had to get our jitters out," Dilworth said. "Last few games, we've been more prepared."

Patterson has played a key role in the turnaround. …

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