PARKERSBURG — The good news for Class AAA No. 4 Parkersburg South girls’ basketball coach Ed Davis and his basketball team is they didn’t have to deal with a 21-point deficit against rival No. 2 Parkersburg Monday inside Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
The better news for the Patriots?
They built a 21-point lead of their own in this game.
But the best news of all for the blue and white with a touch of red was they grabbed a dominant 63-45 victory over the Big Reds.
“We just wanted it really bad,” said Makenna Winans, who missed the first matchup earlier in the season with an undisclosed injury. “I cried when I found out I couldn’t play the first time.”
Along with Allyssa Wilson, also back from injury, Winans’ presence made a huge difference on the defensive side of the basketball.
PHS (11-3) couldn’t do a lot and never held a lead in the ball game.
Scott Cozzens’ team had more turnovers than field goals made. The Big Reds shot just 12 of 40 (30 percent) with 18 turnovers on the evening.
Winans blocked four of those shots and gave the Patriots their biggest lead of the game off two converted free throws with 1:40 left to play. She also added 16 points and six collected rebounds.
“She gives some rim protection when she is in there,” said Davis. “We are definitely a better team when she is one the court and Allyssa can play all five positions and gives us some depth. When I coached elementary school Wilson was the point guard for Lubeck.
“Charity Anderson and Riley Harner also did a great job for us off the bench tonight.”
Devin Hefner paced the Patriots, who host Ripley at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, with 29 points and seven collected caroms.
She sank five of South’s eight 3s.
“We moved the ball early in transition and made the extra pass to her when she was open and it seems we make a better percentage when we make the extra pass,” said Davis. “And Devin gets on those runs and we needed it against them. They are so good and when they are in the man press with that length they are tough.”
PHS used the pressure to whittle down a 20-point deficit to 13 on one of Shay-Lee Kirby’s two buckets with just under six minutes left in the fourth. Madi Mace provided five points of her own during the run as well.
Mace led the Big Reds in scoring and rebounding with 22 points and 7 boards as she appeared to be the only PHS player ready to play.
“That pretty much sums it up,” said Cozzens when asked about his team’s preparedness. “We stood around on offense. I mean they played well, but most of our problems were self-inflicted. We refused to move the basketball. It looked like third-grade basketball out there. You stand on this X and I will pass it and then go stand on this X.”
The ROAC continued to be a house of horrors for the PHS. Not only did their current six-game winning streak end, but the Big Reds haven’t won a game there since 2001.
Things started badly right out of the gate for the visitors, who don’t have a lot of time to regroup before a date with Wyoming East at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. They scored just five points in the first quarter, while falling behind by 14.
Kirby and Madi Leggett got the second quarter started right for the visitors. They combined for four quick points for some early momentum.
However, a Hefner triple immediately snuffed out any rally.
In fact, the Patriots’ defense held the Big Reds scoreless from Leggett’s jumper off a Tavien Clark assist with 6:24 left in the period until Aleea Crites’ 2-point basket with a minute left in the half.
“We spend a lot of time on defense and we still have some things to work on but overall the man and zone defense was pretty good,” said Davis. “Shots don’t always go in and that has got to carry and especially when you go away from home.”