PARKERSBURG-After watching his Big Reds waste yet another first half lead, few can fault veteran Parkersburg boys head coach Jeff Mennillo for not being a fan of sequels.
"We've kind of had that a little all year," said Mennillo following his team's 60-56 setback to No. 10 Wheeling Park. "The third quarter I kind of felt like we had some misfortune. The ball bounced funny and our inexperience showed.
"But, our kids did a good job of fighting back and regaining their composure and it showed with the way we fought back into the game in the fourth."
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg's Levi Hays, right looks for a shot against Wheeling Park's Ryan Reinbeau. Park rallied from a 32-21 halftime deficit to score a 60-56 win. Additional photos of this event can be found at CU.newsandsentinel.com
Fight is right. Trailing by eight points, 43-35, with one quarter remaining to play, PHS knotted the game at 54 on a pair of free throws by J'Darian Wade with 96 seconds left in the contest.
Wheeling Park, now 9-3 with the victory, closed out the final 1:36 of the game on a 6-2 run, however, to hold off the pesky Big Reds and earn a split with Wood County's two Class AAA high schools.
Trenton Smith got things rolling with a rebound bucket off of a Ryan Reinbeau miss-his only bucket of the contest-and the Patriots made good on four of six free throws down the stretch to keep the Big Reds from registering their fourth win of the season.
"We're getting closer to doing the things that we need to do to be a very good basketball team," continued the coach. "We still have a way to go and we are in no way a finished product. But, I still think we will be a good team before the season is over.
"Our record just won't show it."
For the first 16 minutes at Memorial Fieldhouse the players in red and white were the best team on the court.
A Saseen jumper with 1:18 showing on the clock gave the Patriots a 13-11 lead after one quarter of play, but it would also be the final points tallied by the visitors until the 4:17 mark of the second quarter.
Meanwhile the Big Reds, who play host to Morgantown on Monday, regained the lead (14-13) on a triple by Levi Hays just 14 seconds into the second quarter and increased its lead to three, 16-13, on a Jordan Colebank layin off of a Michael Ramsey pass two minutes later.
Another Colebank duece pushed the margin to five, 18-13, before Park's Reinbeau ended the drought with a two-pointer of his own just before the midway point of the quarter.
PHS continued to keep the pressure on, however, as another Colebank bucket ignited a 12-6 run over the final four minutes to give the hosts a 30-21 lead at the intermission.
It would be the Patriots turn to go on a run in the third quarter as a steal and layin by Retajje Goodwin ignited a 15-2 run by the visitors that not only erased the Big Reds' nine-point advantage, but pushed the visitors into the lead by four, 36-32, with 2:40 left in the game.
Wade led four Big Reds in double figures with 16 points. Colebank chipped in with 14 while Hays and Cole Day finished with 11 each. Park was paced by Reinbeau's game-high 19 points. Saseen added 11 while Elijah Bell and Phillip Bledsoe chipped in nine and eight, respectively.