PARKERSBURG - Area boys basketball teams still alive in the postseason playing for sectional crowns at 7 p.m. today still will have at least one game left in their respective season no matter what happens this evening.
Parkersburg South, which finished tied for 12th in the final Class AAA state poll, heads to No. 9 Wheeling Park in a battle of identical 17-6 Patriots.
"We had a great practice (Thursday) and I'm excited. I think it's a big opportunity for us," said PSHS head coach Mike Fallon, whose team lost at Wheeling Park 71-65 and then won the second meeting 65-63 at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
Photo by Michael Uhl
Parkersburg Catholic’s Brady Kurucz goes in for a layup during a game against Williamstown earlier this year. The Crusaders will play for a sectional championship tonight at Gilmer County.
"One thing we've really pushed to our kids is one possession can make a world of difference. I think we are finally hitting our stride."
The local Patriots advanced to the sectional final by eliminating Brooke, 72-56. South was led by Ty Dobson's game-high 19 points while teammate Logan Lawrentz collected a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.
An exciting Class A affair should be on tap in Glenville tonight when Gilmer County (18-5) plays host to Parkersburg Catholic. The 12th-ranked Titans will try and knock off the Crusaders (14-8) for a third time in order to have a regional game back at home next week.
All championship games at 7 p.m.
Class AAA, Region I, Section 1
Parkersburg South (17-6) at Wheeling Park (17-6)
Class AA, Region I, Section 2
Ravenswood (14-9) at Roane County (18-5)
Class A, Region I, Section 2
at New Martinsville
Paden City (12-11) vs. Clay-Battelle (18-5)
Class A, Region IV, Section 1
Parkersburg Catholic (14-8) at Gilmer County (18-5)
"It's a big game," admitted Titan head coach Steve Shuff. "I'm anxious to see what happens. I'll be shocked if it's not another battle."
Earlier last month, the Crusaders went to Glenville and came up short 59-56. PCHS also suffered a narrow setback last month when the Titans held on for a 42-40 victory to win the schools first Little Kanawha Conference championship at Roane County.
"I think we are two evenly matched teams and the first two games could've gone either way," Shuff added.
Also trying to win for a third time against the same opponent is Roane County. The Raiders of head coach Greg Alfred, who are ranked 10th and have an 18-5 record, face double-A foe Ravenswood (14-9). The Red Devils lost 51-48 in Spencer in the first meeting and were tripped up 52-40 at home by the Raiders.
"This group of kids have been really good," said Alfred, who watched his club win 12 games two seasons ago and 14 last winter. "It's been a steady progress.
"The last three years have been good. This was the year we've been looking toward. Our defense has just got so much better."
Paden City, which enters its sectional final against Clay-Battelle with a 12-11 record, has the only neutral court affair with the contest being played at Magnolia High School. Clay-Battelle, ranked sixth in Class A with an 18-5 record, hasn't played the Wildcats.
"They beat Notre Dame twice so that should say something," said Wildcat head coach Fred King. "They have almost everyone back from a good team last year.
"Not only are they long, but athletic. On the flip side, my kids feel very confident going into the game. We've played a very good schedule and this region is very difficult."
Paden City's regional game next week will be against either No. 1 Wheeling Central or No. 10 Bishop Donahue.
"I'm very happy with where we are at right now," King added. "My kids have not only confidence, but also demonstrate poise. From the very beginning of this season until now our basketball IQ increased."