Parkersburg High breezes by rival South

Parkersburg High forward Bre Wilson drives down the lane as Parkersburg South defenders Kenzie Johnson (1) and Sierra Hays (15) attempt to stop her during the Big Reds’ 72-48 win over the Patriots Tuesday night inside Memorial Fieldhouse. (Photo by Joe Albright)

PARKERSBURG — PHS forward Shay-Lee Kirby had seen enough.

With her top-ranked Big Reds trailing rival and No. 10 ranked Parkersburg South by eight early in the third quarter, the Austin Peay commit decided PHS was not dropping a home game to the Patriots.

Her personal 9-0 scoring streak, starting with a bucket off her own rebound with 5:45 left in the period, sparked an 18-1 game-seizing run in a 72-48 victory Tuesday night inside PHS Memorial Fieldhouse.

The senior finished with a double-double of 21 points and 12 rebounds.

“It is really nice just to see her getting that hot streak and it gets us going,” said teammate Bre Wilson of Kirby’s spurt. “We get motivated and pumped up. We drive more and score more. It just helped us a lot.”

Wilson, who added a triple of her own during the run, tallied 12 markers in her first action against South since last season. She also had a hand in the Big Reds generating 31 turnovers from their rivals.

Ed Davis’ Patriots could only sit back and watch a hard effort in the second quarter melt away as PHS hit 47 percent of its shots to put the game out of reach. Ten turnovers following the stretch did not make things any easier to stomach for the visitors.

“We turned the ball over a little bit in the first half but we were also able to break and make the extra pass and knock down some shots,” said Davis of a second quarter where South pulled ahead by three at halftime after trailing by six after one. “I thought the difference in the second half was the press and they got on the offensive boards in the third quarter. They missed some shots and we couldn’t secure the rebound and they got some second and third chances and that let them get active in their press.”

PHS also didn’t give the Patriots many chances for a recovery with just three turnovers in the second half. Overall the Big Reds had just 10 turnovers.

“No,” said Cozzens when asked if he thought his group was capable of such a well-protected ball game. “That is unbelievable. That might be the stat of the year. I guarantee you won’t find a better stat. We only turned the ball over three times in the second half. That is incredible.”

South forward Makenna Winans added a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds. Eight of her collected caroms came in the first half as the Big Reds made an adjustment at halftime.

It was Winans’ connection on the front end of a one and one off a Bre Wilson foul with 6:49 left in the second period, for one of her five markers in the period, beginning the comeback. Sierra Hays’ bucket and banked-in triple tied the game with 6:09 left before two more Winans buckets put South ahead 21-19.

Hays and Erin Williams paced the Patriots’ effort with 11 points a piece.

PHS pulled back ahead on a bucket each from Maddi Leggett and Anna Umpleby followed by a three-point play and bucket from Maggie Richards, but Rylee Harner’s trey with 1:20 left gave the Patriots’ the advantage at the break.

Cozzens stated the Big Reds work on man-to-man defense may have got them in trouble in the period.

“We came out and tried to play man,” said the second-year head coach, whose team faces Capital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. “We have been working on man and trying to get better at man all this week. Every game this year it has been kind of our worst defense. And we keep pounding at it and tonight it got us in a little bit of a hole.”

The Patriots aren’t finished with highly ranked opponents this week. OVAC foe University and star forward Ashten Boggs visits for a 7:30 p.m. Thursday tussle inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.

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