The game was a stark contrast from nearly two months ago to the day when the visiting Patriots were pounded 67-40 in Clarksburg in their season-opener back on Dec. 12. On that night, the RCB trio of Tyrell Hill, Steven Collins and Brett Ervin combined for 59 points.
Ervin did have a team-high 15 points and hauled downed nine caroms. Hill had nine points and as many boards while Collins was held to eight points.
However, the difference in the contest was Parkersburg South’s pressing defense, which at one point helped the hosts get ahead 7-2 in the first. After Andrew Denny gave a feed to Cody Gilmore (12 points) that led to a triple at 5:41 of the second to make it 18-15, Parkersburg South closed the half on a 12-2 spurt to take control and go up by a baker’s dozen at intermission.
“It was a good start and just one of those team efforts,” said South head coach Roy Edman, whose squad got 12 points from Andy Morris, 10 tallies by Drew Shaffer and nine markers off the bench from Blaize Scott.
“They were 17-1 and the fourth ranked team in the state. That’s a big turn for us right now. This is the time of year you want to start playing well.”
Riggins, who added six caroms and a game-high five steals, scored at least six points in every stanza.
Parkersburg South, which improved to 12-7 and plays at No. 7 Wheeling Park on Saturday, led 14-12 after one thanks to a Scott jumper with 16 ticks left in the period off an Anthony Caplinger dish.
Even though RCB managed to stay within two after the first eight minutes despite turning the ball over eight times, the Eagles continued to stay cold in the first half as the visitors had a dozen turnovers at the break with the Patriots holding them to less than 30 percent from the floor.
A Riggins bomb followed by another Riggins trifecta just 29 seconds apart made a 20-15 contest into a double figure lead for the first time. On the second trey, Riggins was clobbered by Irvin in the corner and converted the four-point play, making it 27-15 at the 3:09 mark.
Morris’ three-point play with 56.3 showing on the clock allowed the Patriots to double up on the Eagles, 30-15, but RCB got a little momentum going into halftime thanks to a Collins tip-in at the buzzer.
RCB, which visits Lincoln on Friday, had eight turnovers after the break. The Eagles finally managed to make some shots in the third quarter but only closed to within two possessions twice the rest of the game. Both of those came in the final couple minutes of the fourth.
Down 57-52 with 2:39 to play following a foul shot by Hill, RCB — just 9 of 20 from the charity stripe — watched the hosts get a pair of Morris free throws and a Riggins lay-in as the deficit never got back to two possessions.
Leading 65-52 thanks to Patriot Cody McMurray’s foul shot with 39.5 ticks remaining, RCB hit three of its final four triples to make it a little closer but the Eagles had missed 10 of 13 previously.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg South's Drew Shaffer looks to shoot Wednesday against Robert C. Byrd's Tyrell Hill. The Patriots won, 70-61. To view other photos from this event, log on to cu.newsandsentinel.com.