PARKERSBURG-When Parkersburg's Braeden Cabbil hit an inside bucket with 2:43 left in the first quarter to make the score 12-10 in favor of the visitors, little did anyone in the packed Rod Oldham Athletic Center realize that those would be the final points placed on the scoreboard over the next eight minutes by the Big Reds as No. 7 Parkersburg South went on a 26-point spurt en route to capturing an 85-52 victory Monday night.
"We came out of that first timeout and really began to hit on all cylinders," said Parkersburg South head coach Mike Fallon. "We went to a little half court trap and the kids picked up their intensity level and that seemed to make the difference."
That, and having a player named Wes Mitchem.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg South's Wes Mitchem, right, looks for a teammate to pass to as Parkersburg's Andrew Bayer defends Monday during the Patriots' 85-52 win over the Big Reds.
Taking on his school's crosstown rival for the final time in the regular season at the ROAC, Mitchem tallied the Patriots' first eight points and finished with a game-high 24 points as Parkersburg South improved to 9-2 overall and 2-0 in the season series against the Big Reds.
"It was just one of those things," said Fallon. "We talked about needing to establish our inside game early so that it would open up the perimeter to our shooters and Wes did just that."
Starting with a rebound bucket at the 7:15 mark, Mitchem was a one-man show for the red, white and blue taking a pair of feeds from senior Tyler Bolen and then hitting a short jumper at the 6:20 mark to give the hosts an 8-2 lead.
Parkersburg, now 4-8 with a home contest against MSAC foe Winfield on Wednesday, fought back to knot the game at eight on a steal by Ben Uppleby, an layin by Cabbil and a short jumper by Uppleby with 4:45 remaining in the first quarter.
Bolen would push the margin to four, 12-8, when he was fouled while attempting a triple. Not only did the senior make good on his 3-pointer, but he would also add the free throw to complete the rare 4-point play.
Cabbil would answer with his bucket 24 seconds later, but a pair of putbacks by Mitchem and senior Logan Cox down the stretch sent the Patriots to the bench leading by six, 16-10.
The second eight-minute period belonged to the Patriots as a trey by Logan Lawrentz ignited a 22-0 blitz by the hosts. Sophomore Cody Monroe would chip in all 10 of his game total during the spurt while Mitchem would add a pair of buckets and Lawrentz a deuce as Parkersburg South's lead grew to 38-10 with 75 seconds left until the intermission.
Senior Trevor Britton finally broke the scoring drought for the Big Reds with a layin with 1:05 showing on the clock and closed out the first half for the visitors with a triple off of a Dru Aldridge feed with 13 ticks left in the quarter.
Cox, who finished with 11 points, tallied four of his points over the final 50 seconds as the Patriots took a 42-15 lead to the locker rooms at the half.
The margin would expand to 30, 58-38, on a free throw by Cox with 65 seconds left in the third quarter and the Big Reds would get no closer than 25, 62-37, on a bucket by Cabbil with 7:02 left in the game.
Joining Mitchem, Cox and Monroe in double figures for the Patriots was Dylan Rippeto with 11 points while PHS received 16 points from Britton and 13 from Umpleby.
"This is a big week for us," said Fallon. "With Morgantown coming in here on Wednesday and Brooke on Friday, it was important for us to get off to a fast start. This week should tell us a lot about our team and how we are going to do the remainder of the season."