Parkersburg Big Reds Girls Basketball: Current News: PHS, South girls face off in sectional final

Friday, February 23
PHS, South girls face off in sectional final
PARKERSBURG — If there has been one constant to take away from the first two meeting between the Parkersburg High and Parkersburg South girls basketball teams this season, it is this: The team starting strong ends up winning the game. Parkersburg High (18-5) jumped on top early during its 55-52 win back on Dec. 30, while South (18-3) took command in the first quarter in its 63-45 victory over the Big Reds on Jan. 29. While good beginnings are crucial in any game, today’s 7 p.m. matchup between the crosstown rivals has a little more significance. Home-court advantage for a regional co-final is on the line in the Class AAA Region IV, Section 1 final inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center. “I hope we have a better showing than we did the last time over there,” said PHS head coach Scott Cozzens, whose team had more turnovers than shots made back in January. “I expect and think the kids expect to show a better first half than we had over there the last time.” The Big Reds scored just 12 points in the first half and never led the entire game. Region IV coaches took notice of the bad outing and voted the Patriots the top-seed in the sectional tournament, forcing PHS to face Ripley in the section semifinal Wednesday night. Cozzens’ team easily dispatched the Vikings, 66-30, to move on to tonight’s contest. “They’re (South) are the favorite,” said Cozzens. “They are supposed to win; all the pressure is on them. It’s now their first tournament game and we will see how it goes.” Ed Davis’s squad comes into the matchup red hot as winners of their last 12 straight and owner’s of the No. 2 ranking in the state. The Patriots also haven’t played in eight days, but Davis is pleased with how the girls have handled the lay-off. “We have had a week’s worth of practice, three pretty hard and the others to keep our conditioning up,” said Davis. “We have had a couple of long breaks this year, but the kids have approached them with the right attitude. I think they are just looking forward to playing now.” South isn’t doing anything different to prepare for the Big Reds, though they are aware PHS is going to be motivated after what happened the last time both teams met. “The kids have pretty much taken the same mental approach all year and that is one of the cool things about this team,” said the Patriots’ second-year head man. “They’ve known every team we’ve played has been pretty darn good, and they know the Big Reds are two.” Devin Hefner, Kenzie Johnson, Sierra Hays, Allie Taylor and Makenna Winans are the starting five for Davis, while Rylee Harner, Allyssa Wilson and Charity Anderson are the three main bench players. Cozzens’ counters with Shay-Lee Kirby, Madi Mace, Bre Wilson, Aleea Crites and Maddi Leggett, with Tavien Clark, Maggie Richards and Emily Kupfner coming off the pine.