Big Red girls fall to visiting Shady Spring

PARKERSBURG-As his Big Reds prepare to enter the second half of the 2012-13 basketball season Parkersburg head girls’ basketball coach Kenny DeMoss is looking for one thing-confidence.

The veteran leader and his squad received a ton of that with Saturday’s 72-25 thumping of visiting Shady Spring.

“Right now, it’s all about building confidence,” said DeMoss. “Five of our six losses are to ranked teams so right now we are hoping to build some confidence before we enter divisional play in the MSAC.”

Senior Imani Ward led a trio of Big Reds into double digits and all, but two players put their name in the scoring column for the hosts as Parkersburg improved to 5-6 on the season with a road game at Point Pleasant on Tuesday night.,

“It’s very important for us to have girls come off of the bench and score,” continued DeMoss. “A lot of teams key in on our key players and when we have players come in an contribute then teams won’t be able to key on the others like they have been.”

The key to victory on Saturday, however, was defense.

Parkersburg held the Tigers (4-8) to 13.5 percent shooting from the floor (7-of-52) and forced 27 turnovers-20 of those being steals.

Ward, who led the team with 13 points, led the way with five steals while Megan Morrison and Kennedy Walker chipped in with four each and Brooke Kurucz added three.

The defensive pressure led to several easy buckets and was a big reason why the hosts shot 38 percent (27-of-71) from the field.

Shady Spring actually lit up the scoreboard first on a triple by sophomore Morgan Hilton and led by a 7-4 margin after junior McKenize Severt connected on one-of-two from the charity stripe with 4:34 showing on the clock.

Parkersburg needed less than three minutes to erase that deficit and put the game away as a Walker jumper at the 4:20 mark ignited a 12-0 run the propelled the hosts into the lead for good, 16-7, with 1:42 remaining in the opening quarter. The Big Reds took a 21-9 lead into the second quarter-an eight minute period dominated by Ward.

Held scoreless and saddled with a pair of personal fouls, Ward broke lose and tallied nine of her team-high 13 points as Parkersburg increased its lead to 45-12 heading into the intermission.

The lead continued to balloon in the third quarter as Walker and Ward combined for eight points as the Big Reds headed into the final eight minutes of action with a 40 point, 58-18, advantage.

Joining Ward in double figures for the hosts was Walker with 11 points and freshman Haley Ackerman with 10 while Hilton was the only Tiger to break double-figures, finishing with a game-high 15 points.