PARKERSBURG - Parkersburg High is all about tradition and one of its many traditions is to recognize those who have played a major role in Big Reds athletics.
That's why Parkersburg's basketball tournaments are named the Jack Stephens Memorial Holiday Tournament, in honor of a man who made so many contributions to PHS sports, including the overseeing of the renovation of Stadium Field.
The fifth annual tournament gets under way today at Memorial Fieldhouse and PHS girls basketball coach wants to make sure besides the basketball games, it also is a tribute to the late Jack Stephens
"The best thing about this tournament is that we get a chance to celebrate Jack's life," said DeMoss. "He has done so much for us and this is just one way that we can remember him."
Parkersburg (4-3) is coming off of an impressive win over St. Albans. The Big Reds last captured the Stephens title two years agio, beating Winfield in the title game two years ago.
Those two teams will meet again tonight as Winfield (3-2) will be Parkersburg's first-round opponent at 7:15 p.m.
Jack Stephens Memorial Holiday Tournament
at Memorial Fieldhouse
Wheeling Park (4-2) vs.
Game time: 5:30 p.m.
Parkersburg (4-3) vs. Winfield (3-2)
Game time: 7:15 p.m.
Wednesday's two losing teams will take to the court at 5:30 p.m. with the championship game slated to begin at 7:15 p.m.
In the opening game, Wheeling Park (4-2) will meet defending champion Marietta (5-1) at 5:30 p.m. The Tigers, led by Erica Dawson, are coming off of their first setback of the season - a 50-40 loss to Bishop Rosecrans. Dawson already has signed with Xavier University and is the reigning Ohio Division II Player of the Year.
"Wheeling Park is really, really good," said DeMoss. "Two great guards and their only losses are to University and Morgantown and they are two very good teams.
"That should be a really good matchup with them and Marietta. The (Erica) Dawson girl is one of the best players we have faced since I've been here."
DeMoss described the field as "four very good teams. Really, anyone of them could win this thing. The key for us is to be healthy. We haven't been healthy for a while now. If we can be at full health and we take care of the basketball, then we can play with these teams."
Seniors Imani Ward, Kennedy Walker and Megan Morrison provide the bulk of the offense for the red and white, but DeMoss isn't afraid to go to his bench, playing as many as 12 different players in the game. Fans should look for Kaily Cox and Nicole Dent to join the trio in Parkersburg's probable starting lineup.
Look for Hannah Hill, Haley Ackerman, Rachel Slone, Airika Gainer, Joanna Bever, Jaylynn Millwood, Kameron Snyder and Brooke Kurucz to see plenty of action as well.
"If we aren't back to full strength, then it will be very important for our bench to come in and give us some quality minutes," said DeMoss.
Thursday's action will follow the same schedule with consolation action in the junior varsity bracket opening play at 2 p.m. followed by the championship game at 3:45.
Wednesday's two losing varsity teams will take to the court at 5:30 p.m. with the championship game slated to begin at 7:15.
The boys' side of the four-day holiday tournament has been canceled because a replacement for Brooke High School could not be found.
That doesn't mean, however, that the Big Red boys won't see action.
Unbeaten Magnolia will take on Dayton Chaminade at 7:15 p.m. on Friday with Parkersburg (1-4) facing Dayton Chaminade at the same time on Saturday.