PARKERSBURG -Parkersburg South senior Anthony Caplinger celebrated his 18th birthday in fine fashion Monday night at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center as the Patriots broke open a close game at halftime with visiting Bridgeport to win going away, 74-49.
"We just didn't do a very good job of turning their turnovers into points in the first half," head coach Roy Edman explained. "The second half we did a much better job of that."
Better job is right.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg South's Chase Fieler drives to the basket against Bridgeport Monday. South defeated Bridgeport, 74-49.
Leading by only one, 26-25, after the game's first 16 minutes of action the Patriots (10-3) exploded for 26 points in the third quarter to open up a 17-point, 52-35, advantage and never looked back in dispatching the Indians (7-6).
"We pressed the entire game and it finally began to wear them (Bridgeport) down in the second half," added Edman. "That and our depth really was the difference tonight."
Four Parkersburg South players cracked the double-digit column led by Michael Riggins, who finished with game-highs of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Cody McMurray chipped in with 16 while Chase Fieler came off the South bench to add 14 points and Caplinger tallied 11-all in the second half.
Bridgeport was able to match its Wood County rival bucket-for-bucket early in the third quarter. But, a Caplinger layin with four and one half minutes remaining in the quarter ignited a 20-5 run from which the Indians would not recover.
A Wes Tonkery layup with just under three minutes on the clock cut the South lead to four, 39-35, but would also be the final points of the frame for the visitors as back-to-back-back treys from Fieler, McMurray and Riggins ended all doubt about the game's outcome.
Two free throws by Jerome Axton cut the South advantage to 15, 55-40, with 6:12 left to play. But, that would be as close as the visitors would get.
Caplinger, who had a banner congratulating him on his birthday held up by the student section when he was introduced, closed out a 15-6 run with a pair of steals-for-layups and Fieler closed out the game's scoring with a thunderous dunk just before the final horn.
Pacing the Indians on the scoreboard was Jason Carey with 18 points. Mike Johnson chipped in with 10 while Axton added nine.
Parkersburg South returns to action on Wednesday when the Patriots travel to Wheeling Park looking to avenge a triple-overtime loss to the Northern Panhandle Patriots back in January.