PARKERSBURG - The best piece of advice for a team trailing by eight points with five minutes remaining in regulation is to do first and think later.
The Parkersburg Catholic boys basketball team outscored Williamstown 22-7 in the homestretch of the fourth quarter and pulled out a 69-62 victory against the visiting Yellowjackets on Friday night.
"We took a shot in the mouth in the fourth quarter and we answered the bell," said PCHS coach Rob Strcula after his Crusaders improved to 14-2 and 9-1 in the North Division of the Little Kanawha Conference. "That run we had there toward the end shows the maturity of our guys."
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg Catholic's Joe Padden drives between Williamstown's Gage Wix, left, and Hunter Neely Friday during their game at Parkersburg Catholic.
Williamstown (5-11, 3-7 LKC North) trailed by as many as 11 points in the early stages of the second half before producing its largest lead of the game at 55-47 with 4:59 showing on the fourth-quarter clock.
Despite turning the ball over 22 times compared to just four for the Crusaders, Williamstown kept the pressure on PCHS by connecting on 63 percent (22-of-35) from the floor.
Even after a double-technical foul on opposing players which delayed the game for several minutes as the officials attempted to restore order with 2 1/2 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Yellowjackets kept pace with the Crusaders at 61 on a bucket from freshman Landon Travis.
The momentum then began to take a permanent seat on the PCHS sidelines as Jake Ullman contributed four of his game-high 23 points in the final 1:28. Also scoring in double figures for the Crusaders were Joe Padden with 15 points and Payton Sturm with 10 points to go with eight assists.
"Parkersburg Catholic went on a quick run midway in the fourth quarter and they can do that - they can score a lot of points in a hurry," Williamstown coach Scott Sauro said. "We pretty much held them in check from going on a big run like that for most of the game."
Williamstown's Chandler Weber finished with a team-high 19 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, while Josh DeBolt flirted with a double-double after scoring 14 points to go with nine rebounds. Also reaching double figures for point production was Gage Wix with 10 points.
"Our kids have a lot of pride and they want to do well, and that's what you saw with those guys getting fired up," Sauro said. "I want this one to hurt. It's a rivalry game. We shouldn't feel good right now - I don't care what their record is compared to ours.
"We played hard and did some things well. I'm proud of my guys for playing hard."
Jarric Hoskins knocked down a pair of treys as the Yellowjackets made their first five shots from the field while building a 13-7 advantage.
"Williamstown is playing with a lot of confidence, and I was not surprised by their shooting percentage," Strcula.
Sturm responded with a couple of buckets as the Crusaders ended the first quarter on an 11-0 run and led 18-13 heading into the second quarter.
PCHS extended the gap to 32-25 by intermission then came out with a fury when Sturm and Ullman made good from downtown to widen the margin to 38-27 at the six-minute mark of the third quarter.
"This was a tough week - we've had four games in five days and to come out 3-1 we are very happy," Strcula said.