PARKERSBURG - With a 2-9 record, Kenny DeMoss had nothing to lose by reverting back to something that worked in the past for his Parkersburg High girls basketball team - and it got his Big Red girl cagers a 65-56 MSAC win over visiting Winfield at Memorial Fieldhouse Wednesday night.
The ploy was mass 5-for-5 substitution every minute and a half so after his starters went the first three minutes Wednesday.
"We're so young, starting all sophomores, and have seven other kids, all our juniors and seniors, from last year and only one had any varsity experience," related DeMoss, who used the same strategy with success six, seven years ago.
"And so far this year, we've battled a lot of really good teams who are like 57-13 combined for the season. So for us to try and compete with that with very little veteran experience, we've had some highs, but we've had some major lows too."
So halfway through this season, with the vote of his players, ,DeMoss decided to push the tempo, "meaning that we'd get everybody involved with short bursts of playing time of about a minute and a half or two minutes," he explained. "And the only way you can play this is mass substitution.
"So we wanted to roll the dice with it tonight. We knew it would be a 50-50 chance it would work, and tonight it was favorable."
PHS led early Wednesday night, by as much as 10 points (14-4) in the first period, until the Generals in the final two minutes chopped the gap down to just four, 16-12, at the quarter break.
The second stanza was close with three lead changes and a tie before the Big Reds overcame a 24-19 deficit in the last 3:38 with a 15-4 run-up to halftime, sparked by Haley Ackerman and Alison Schumacher, for a 34-28 advantage at intermission.
Winfield rallied late in the third quarter, using an 8-0 run to regain the lead at 44-43 at the 1:46 mark, only to watch a Nicole Dent trey and a Ackerman hoop in the final 44.8 seconds lift the Big Reds on top again at 48-44 heading to the fourth quarter.
But with only 2:58 to play, it was just a six-point game at 58-52 in PHS' favor before Kam Snyder scored inside at 1:45 and then the Big Reds canned five of six at the foul line in the last 38.8 seconds to ice the win.
Ackerman topped PHS, now 3-9, in scoring with 13 points, followed by Snyder and Brooke Kurucz with 11 each, while Dent and Schumacher added six each.
For Winfield, now 5-4, Haylea Roberson netted a game-high 23 points, Cheyenne Sawyer collected 11 and Karly Rogers notched 10.