PARKERSBURG -Mired in a subtle funk, Parkersburg South discovered its winning ways again after defeating fifth-ranked George Washington, 77-64, Thursday night in its regular-season finale at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
"This is a great win and gets us momentum going into sectionals," South coach Mike Fallon said.
South (16-6), had dropped four of its past six games, but used a dose of defensive intensity to keep George Washington (17-5) in check in the first half. Trailing by 18 points at intermission, George Washington's Jon Elmore tried to keep pace in the scoring department with South's entire unit.
Photo by Kerry Patrick
Parkersburg South’s Ty Dobson, right, settles down the offense with George Washington’s Alex Lewis defending during the two teams’ regular-season finale Thursday night at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center. South upset fifth-ranked George Washington, 77-64.
Elmore finished with 45 points, but South maintained a comfort zone by converting at the free-throw line. For the game, South made 30-of-39 (77 percent) from the charity stripe.
"Early in the season, free throws was our Achilles heel," Fallon said.
A total of five South players scored in double figures, including Ty Dobson who was responsible for 13 of his team's first 15 points in the fourth quarter. In the first 3 1/2 minutes of the final period, the junior made all three attempts from beyond the 3-point line and ended the game with a team-high 19 points.
Also contributing in the scoring column for South on senior night were Logan Lawrentz with 15 points, JR Kerr with 13 points and Cody Monroe with 11 points. South reserve Tyler Berry also tossed in 11 points.
"Cody Monroe hurt his ankle and Garrett Gilkeson had two fouls, so Ty had to run the '1' for most of the first half," Fallon said. "His game is starting to step up and other guys off the bench are starting to play big minutes."
South never trailed after opening the game with the first seven points. Several times in the first quarter, South's lead reached 14 points. Lawrentz's tip-in on a putback just before the buzzer put South in front 22-8.
The largest deficit of the first half occurred with just under four minutes left before intermission on a pair of free throws from both Kerr and Dobson to leave George Washington trailing 33-14.
Dobson's bucket just before the horn sounded sent the teams into the locker room with South in front 37-19.
George Washington's struggles from the field in the first 16 minutes resulted in 22 percent shooting (5-of-23).
"Defense is what we've preached the last few days, along with our rebounding," Fallon said.
George Washington had one surge ready for South in the first four minutes of the third quarter. After providing the assist on Larry Bryson's bucket, DeShawn Womack took matters into his own hands a minute later off an assist from Elmore and scored his only two points of the game to cut the margin to nine at 39-30.
Even though Elmore continued to penetrate the South defense, that marked the last time George Washington would close to single digits. Combined with his three assists, Elmore played a part in 33 of George Washington's first 39 points. The senior accounted for 21 points in the fourth quarter alone.
"Jon Elmore is a great player -he is the best player I've seen since I've been here in a four-year period," Fallon said. "He shoots the ball well and handles the ball well."
For South, the fourth quarter came down to a free-throw shooting contest. In the final eight minutes, they combined for 18-of-23 at the line and built its largest lead of 21 (61-40) at the four-minute mark.
"In the first half, we shut (Elmore) down then in the second half he hit a couple of shots," Dobson said. "This is a really good win to get that momentum for sectionals.
"Now we just have to keep focusing on a winning attitude."