PARKERSBURG - No. 10-ranked Class AAA Parkersburgh High's impressive 81-65 victory over visiting MSAC foe Spring Valley Friday night at Memorial Fieldhouse was all well and good for Big Red head coach Jeff Mennillo.
But the PHS boys cage boss knows his team has bigger fish to fry yet, starting Monday night with a key conference matchup at No. 6 George Washington.
Friday's seventh straight triumph for the Big Reds, now 14-3, was led by a trio of double-digit point producers in Andy Dollman with 23, including four treys, followed by Jeremy Bell with 18 and Devin Hoehn with 12. Zac Grossenbacher contributed nine, four on a pair of slam-dunks, while Dovonic Mitchell and Alex Ash, who gunned in two 3-balls, each added eight.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg’s Zach Grossenbacher eyes the basket before he dunks the ball against Spring Valley. The Big Reds won, 81-65. To see more pictures of this event, go to cu.newsandsentinel.com
The Timberwolves, who tumbled to 6-13, were paced by Hunter Waugh's 18 points, 17 from Matt Conway and 14 from Patrick Bailey.
''We did OK tonight; we're coming,'' said Mennilo after PHS' 10th win in its last 11 outings. ''We get sloppy at times, but sometimes it's hard to maintain your intensity when you've got a big lead. I wish that weren't the case, but that's the way things work with kids a lot of the time.''
Spring Valley actually led 5-0 Friday, but the Big Reds - off two back-to-back backcourt steals for baskets by Mitchell and Ash followed by a Dollman trey - grabbed the lead for good at 13-9 at 2:56 of the first quarter with the 31-second 7-0 flurry - and a 26-12 second-stanza advantage pushed PHS out to a 43-25 spread by halftime.
But in the third period, the Big Reds hit a lull offensively with Spring Valley slicing its deficit to 14 three times. But two treys by Dollman and a hoop by Mitchell each time stemmed the Timberwolf surge.
And in the fourth, the lead got down to as little as 11 three times before buckets by Grossenbacher and Hoehn and a three-point play by Bell put an end to any final Spring Valley uprisings.
Mennillo knows his squad is an offensive-minded unit, but in ''this tournament run we'll be on soon, we've got to be able to guard people. But that's got to start Monday night at GW, which is going to be a big challenge for us. Winning is good, but you've got to win the games that matter, and that's what we're shooting for Monday since there's just a little bit riding on the outcome. Sectional seeding, conference championship berth - there's a lot of things hinging on that game.''