PARKERSBURG - First-year South Charleston head girls basketball coach John Testa and his Black Eagles were turned back here Tuesday night inside Memorial Fieldhouse by host Parkersburg, 68-56, in the season opener for both teams.
The Big Reds, who are off until Riverside comes to town next Tuesday evening, never trailed in the first half and used a 9-0 spurt in the fourth quarter to pull away from South Charleston.
"We played really smart in the second half," said PHS head coach Kenny DeMoss, who got double figure scoring efforts from Imani Ward (23) and Megan Morrison (16). "It was a great team effort. Since I've been here (2007-08) we've never beat South Charleston.
Photos by Jeff Baughan
Megan Morrison of Parkersburg High School drives to the basket as Alliyah Webb (11) and Lina Villanueva (13) defend for visiting South Charleston Tuesday night at Memorial Fieldhouse.
"For us, and for the seniors, the last three years it's been a battle with them and it's nice to get one under our belt against them. South Charleston played really hard."
Lina Villanueva led all scorers with 24 points in the setback. She also had seven boards and five steals.
Taliah Cashwell scored her eighth and final point of the contest just 16 seconds into the fourth quarter as the Black Eagles trailed 50-45. However, Morrison's third triple of the game started the 9-0 run and after Kennedy Walker scored inside via a Brooke Kurucz assist the visitors trailed by 14 with 4:23 to play. SC never got it back to within a two possession game.
PHS scored the first six points thanks to a Ward foul shot, two Nicole Dent free throws and a Walker 3-pointer. With 1:13 left in the opening period, Rachel Slone drained the first of her two treys, thanks to a kickout by Alison Schumacher, as the hosts opened up a 13-3 advantage.
The Black Eagles tallied the final seven points of the stanza, but didn't get the scoreboard even until Frankie Bland went coast to coast for a layup to tie things at 24 with 1:08 left before halftime. A Villanueva deuce made it 26-all with 35 ticks to go, but Ward added a pair of charity stripe tosses to give the hosts a 28-26 cushion. Alliyah Webb, who added 10 points in the setback, nearly hit a 30-plus footer just before the horn.
A Villanueva trey gave the visitors their first lead of the game just 22 seconds into the third quarter. The next to last Black Eagle advantage came at 36-34 at the 5:31 mark when Webb hit a 19-foot jumper, but Big Red Kailey Cox answered that with a bomb. Arri Mosley's inside bucket put PHS down by one a mere 10 ticks later, but Ward scored consecutive hoops to give the red and white the lead for good.
South Charleston, which plays Thursday at Logan, missed its first six shots and had three turnovers in the initial 3:21 of the fourth quarter.
Walker finished with nine points, five rebounds and a trio of blocks. Ward and Morrison, who had a game-high six assists, each grabbed a half dozen caroms.