PARKERSBURG-It has been two years since the Parkersburg Big Red girls have captured the championship of the Jack Stephens Memorial Holiday Tournament.
Fans of Parkersburg basketball will have to wait at least one more year after Mountain State Athletic Conference foe Winfield sent their hosts into today's 5:30 p.m. consolation game with a 51-45 victory Wednesday night at Memorial Fieldhouse.
Leading by two points, 25-23, after the first 16 minutes of action, the Generals knotted the game at 25 on a rebound bucket by sophomore Jayne Lawman. The Big Reds regained the lead 20 seconds later when senior Megan Morrison drained a triple to push the hosts back in front by three, 28-26.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg's Imani Ward goes in for a layup against Winfield's Jayne Lawman Wednesday during the opening night of the Jack Stephens Memorial Holiday Tournament. Winfield defeated Parkersburg by a 51-45 score
The margin grew to five, 31-26, after Winfield's Haylea Roberson made good on one of two opportunities from the charty stripe and the Big Reds' Rachel Slone connected on her only triple of the game with 2:19 remaining in the quarter.
PHS, however, would not light up the scoreboard again until senior Imani Ward put back a missed shot with 26 ticks remaining in the decisive quarter while Winfield closed out the final two minutes of the frame with a 12-2 run to take a 38-33 lead heading into the final eight minutes of action.
The Big Reds sliced the deficit to four, 42-38, on a steal and bucket by freshman Haley Ackerman with 4:02 showing on the clock, but that was as close as Parkersburg would get as Winfield went go on a 9-4 run over the next three minutes to forge a 51-42 with 22.5 ticks left in the game.
Ward, who finished with a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds), connected on the first of two shots from the free throw line and then rebounded her own miss for the final two points of the game to pull the hosts to within six, 51-45.
Ackerman, who connected on three treys in the game, finished with a game-high 17 points for Parkersburg, which was playing without Kailey Cox. Morrison added five points and Kennedy Walker chipped in four as the Big Reds dropped to 4-4 on the season.
Senior Mara Rhoades led the Generals with a game-high 20 points while Roberson chipped in with 10. Lawman and Haeley Moore added eight and six points, respectively, for the Generals, who will take on defending tournament champion Marietta at 7:15 p.m. tonight.
The Tigers (5-1) moved into the championship game without having to play as their opponent, Wheeling Park (4-2), was unable to travel in for the game because of the inclement weather that was forecasted for Wednesday night.
Wheeling Park, weather permitting, will take on the host Big Reds in the consolation matchup.