PARKERSBURG -Parkersburg didn't show any ill effects from arriving home at 2 a.m. from Thursday's Mountain State Athletic Conference seventh-place game with Spring Valley.
Less than 24 hours later at Memorial Fieldhouse on Friday night, Parkersburg closed out its regular season with a 66-60 victory against Morgantown.
Jordan Colebank led Parkersburg with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Cole Day knocked down four 3-pointers as part of his 16-point effort. Also scoring in double figures for the Big Reds (8-14) was Ja'Darien Wade with 13 points.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg's Ja'Darien Wade, left, is fouled by Morgantown's Shaun Carden Friday as Zakeem Davis waits the outcome. The Big Reds won, 66-60. Additional photos of this event can be found at CU.newsandsentinel.com
"The last two weeks we have really rounded into form, and grown into a solid basketball team," PHS coach Jeff Mennillo said. "If we get the opportunity to extend our life here in postseason, in a week or two we could really be good.
"We've shortened our bench and I would say that has a little bit to do with our success. We're finding a good rotation. When you have fewer moving parts, it's easier to coach it."
With less than 30 seconds remaining in the game and PHS clinging to a 64-60 lead, Morgantown's Scottie Core stole a pass off the press and appeared to have a good look for the layup when Wade stepped in his path and blocked the shot.
On the same possession, Core had a look from 3-point land but tried to shoot over two defenders and Colebank grabbed the defensive rebound. Colebank was fouled with seven seconds showing and made both attempts for the final six-point margin.
As a team, PHS converted 14-of-15 from the charity stripe, including 9-of-10 in the final 6 1/2 minutes.
The Big Reds trailed just once at 2-0 then overtook the Mohigans (12-10) for good by scoring 11 unanswered points. Day capped the run with a 3-pointer from the top of the arc and added two more treys as PHS established a 21-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Big Reds' pressure in the second quarter took a toll on Morgantown and forced the Mohigans into eight turnovers during the period. As a result, Morgantown was limited to two shot attempts in the first six minutes and fell further behind at 28-12.
The difference remained 16 at 32-16 as the two teams exited for intermission.
Morgantown was unable to make any headway for most of the third quarter and PHS extended the lead to 47-28 on a three-point play from Michael Ramsey with just under two minutes left on the clock.
The Mohigans, however, owned the final 120 seconds and outscored the Big Reds 10-2 to close out the quarter. Elvin McNally, who finished with a team-high 16 points, accounted for the final four points of the period.
The margin dipped into single digits to stay when Core's 3-pointer at the 1:19 mark of the fourth quarter cut the deficit to 63-55. McNally and Kenzie Melko each made one free throw, but Big Reds' Darius Basta added one of his own at the 36-second mark.
Moments later, McNally converted a three-point play to set the stage for Core's steal and Wade's ensuing block as PHS weathered the storm.
"It should not have been a storm," Mennillo said. "Morgantown did a good job running their plan, and we had a couple of untimely turnovers. We need to do a better job closing out the game, but Morgantown is a really good team. They have a lot of athletic kids."
The Big Reds open sectional play on Wednesday at Wheeling Park.