MCMECHEN - Seeking a third victory this season against scrappy Beallsville, homestanding Bishop Donahue jumped in front 11-0 but then had to weather a familiar storm Tuesday night inside the Fr. Raymond Jablinske Memorial Gymnasium.
Blue Devils' senior standout Terryn Jarrett exploded for 32 points and had Beallsville within two possessions of a tie three times in the fourth quarter only to see the Bishops hang on for the 73-66 victory in the semifinals of the Wheeling Hospital/Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 1A Division tournament.
The 1,000-point career scorer for Beallsville hit for 28 in the previous visit to the Bishops' home court, but the Blue Devils also wound up on the short end of the score.
Last night, Jarrett hit on five 3-point attempts and scored 19 of his 32 points during the second half. He was Beallsville's only double-figure scorer as its record dropped back below the .500 mark at 9-10.
Bishop Donahue's narrow victory put Wise's youthful but talented squad into the conference small school title game for the third time in the last five years. The Bishops split back-to-back OVAC finals appearances against Bridgeport in 2009 and 2010.
On Saturday evening, they will be matched up against rangy Conotton Valley in the championship game.
The biggest play of the night might have been turned in by Bishops' sophomore Jesse Padlow with under two minutes on the clock after two free throws by Jarrett narrowed the Blue Devils' deficit to 66-62.
Beallsville thought it had slapped the ball away from Padlow as he advanced past half court. However, the determined Bishop point guard kept hustling, got his hands on the basketball and, in the same motion, passed it inside to Chaice Truex for an easy shot off the glass.
''I thought we were going to get a steal, but it landed back in their hands and they got a layup." Blue Devils' coach Casey Tolzda said.
Three other Bishops reached double figures. Miller enjoyed a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Padlow added a dozen and Truex scored 11 points, while also yanking down eight rebounds.
Lavonte Hampton came off the Donahue bench to contribute eight points and also grabbed five rebounds.
Conotton Valley 82, Paden City 41
BOWERSTON - Brandon Bailey scored 19 points as Conotton Valley defeated Paden City.
Zach Lyon and Brandon Galisher each had 12 points for the Rockets (15-5), while Brandon Rodin had 11.
Kennedy Cain paced the Wildcats (11-7) with 14 points and six rebounds, while Zach Healsey finished with nine points and six boards.