PARKERSBURG -It must seem like eons ago the last time a girls basketball team from Parkersburg High tasted victory against cross-town rival Parkersburg South at Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
Since January 2001, a total of 17 games have taken place between the two schools at ROAC. And on every one of those 17 occasions, the Patriots have defeated the Big Reds. The last time they hooked up on the southside occurred this past February when South advanced to a Class AAA sectional final after posting a 59-45 win.
In the first of two regular-season meetings, PHS tries to break the spell tonight. Tip-off for the varsity contest at ROAC is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. start.
Parkersburg South’s Taryn McCutcheon, left, applies the defensive pressure against University’s Mariah Callen during a game played last week at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
Parkersburg senior Imani Ward (10) goes up for a shot against a host of South Charleston defenders earlier this season.
PHS, which was among Class AAA schools receiving votes in the latest coaches' poll, enters with a 3-2 record. South, which was ranked No. 9 in the preseason, suffered its third straight loss to open the season after dropping a 49-44 decision to University at home last Tuesday.
"South's record does not indicate how good of a team they are," PHS coach Kenny DeMoss said. "They are competitive every game and young in some aspects like us. I know they are hungry for a win.
"Playing at South is a hard place to win and their girls are going to compete from the time the game tips off until the final horn sounds."
If You Go
- Parkersburg High (2-3) at Parkersburg South (0-3) 7:30 p.m. (varsity tip-off) today at Rod Oldham Athletic Center.?
The Big Reds snapped a two-game losing streak by winning on the road 69-58 last Thursday at Hurricane. Senior Imani Ward lit up the stat sheet for 32 points and classmate Megan Morrison hit 11-of-14 free-throw attempts as part of her 16-point contribution.
"We were really loose and played our game against Hurricane - the girls did a good job," DeMoss said. "At this point of the season, we have progressed to where I thought we would be. With our mix of youth and veterans, we are still trying to find some chemistry. We are not happy about losing, but I am happy with where we are."
South has been on the wrong side of a couple close calls this season. In its season-opener against Fort Frye, the Patriots trailed by just two points at 43-41 with 1:02 remaining in the fourth quarter before the Cadets reeled off five straight points to end the game.
Against University, South pulled within two at 46-44 with 27 seconds left in regulation. In that game, sophomore Keya Bartlett scored in double figures for the third straight time after finishing with 11 points - the same amount turned in by freshmen Taryn McCutcheon and Anna Hayton.
"Our offense at times gets a little stagnant - we're a little hesitant," South coach Scott Stephens said. "We just have to keep attacking the rim.
"This past week, we just worried about the fundamentals. There's no grand strategy. It's just Basketball 101."
Questionable for tonight's game is the status of South senior Miranda Workman, who is recovering from a bout with mononucleosis and has yet to play a game this season. Junior Alexa Anderson injured her knee in a game played Dec. 7 at Wheeling Park and will be unavailable for at least another week.
"Miranda is another post player - we miss her senior leadership not just in games, but also in practice," Stephens said.