Parkersburg Big Reds Girls Basketball: Current News: PHS girls down Vikings in sectional semifinal

Thursday, February 22
PHS girls down Vikings in sectional semifinal
PARKERSBURG — Host Parkersburg, the No. 2 sectional seed, was at it from the start here Wednesday night as the Big Red girls led all the way from 4-3 on against Ripley in posting a 66-30 win over the #3 seed Vikings at PHS Memorial Fieldhouse to set up a Class AAA Region IV, Section 1 basketball championship matchup Friday night at top-seeded Parkersburg South. PHS, the No. 4 team in Class AAA, will take an 18-5 mark to 18-3 South, two spots above the Big Reds in the state rankings, at 7 p.m. Friday with both assured of going on to the regional. But Wednesday, the Big Reds shut down Ripley’s offense pretty much from the outset. PHS pressed full-court right from the beginning to harass the Vikings, but even more when a Ripley player took the ball into the paint, she was tripled-teamed by a trio of Big Reds quickly descending on her. That early strategy enabled PHS to go on an 11-0 run, taking the Big Reds from down 3-2 to up 13-3 halfway through the first period en route to a 17-7 lead going to the second stanza. The spread widened in quarter 2 as PHS outdid Ripley 14-6 to make it 31-13 by halftime on Bre Wilson’s trey from the corner for the final points. In the third period, the Big Reds doubled up on the Vikings 22-11, led by Shay-Lee Kirby’s seven points, to run out to a wide 53-24 advantage with just eight minutes remaining to play in the game after a 7-0 spurt to the finish on buckets by Maggie Richards and Aleea Crites followed by a corner 3-ball from Emily Kupfner. The last quarter saw the PHS lead crest at 38 twice, 64-26 at 1:46 on a Sophia Shank basket and at 66-28 at 28.3 seconds on a Madison Spears hoop. For the Big Reds in the scoring column on the night, Madi Mace tallied a game-high 17 points, while Wilson notched 12, Crites netted 10 and Kirby added nine. Ripley, concluding its season at 14-8, got 10 points from Lexi Miller, eight from Presley Fisher and six from Jaelyn Hunt. “This first game (in the tournament) is always the hardest,” said PHS head coach Scott Cozzens, “because it’s win or go home. All season, the girls have always had the next game to fall back on — and tonight they didn’t. “We did play a little bit tight in the beginning, but we got in step pretty quickly — sharing the ball with a lot of kids scoring which makes us a tough team to defend, and that’ll open up things for a lot of other players.”