Webster, Britton lead Big Reds to win
team envisioned by veteran Big Red boys’ basketball coach Jeff Mennillo when Parkersburg opened the 2011-12 campaign has yet to emerge. But, after Tuesday night’s 64-45 thumping of Mountain State Athletic Conference foe Spring Valley at Memorial Fieldhouse, vision is coming closer to being a reality.
“I wouldn’t say that we are there yet,” said Mennillo. “I know that we are starting to jell a bit. The guys are figuring some things out and we’ve come a long way. But, we still have some things to work on.”
Parkersburg, now 3-6 and on its first two-game winning streak of the season, jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never looked back in registering the lopsided win over the Timberwolves (2-5).
The Big Reds, who were coming off an impressive win over No. 7 ranked (Class AAA) Woodrow Wilson over the weekend, received double-digit scoring efforts from seniors Adrian Webster (15 points) and Trevor Britton (13) while Ben Uppleby and Levi Hays chipped in with eight points each.
Spring Valley’s Jacob Kilgore topped all scorers with a game-high 21 points and added six rebounds while James Keyser chipped in with 10.
Britton got things rolling for the red and white with a layin off of a Braeden Cabbil feed just 24 seconds into the game. Webster followed 11 seconds later with a steal and layup to push the margin to 4-0 with 7:25 showing on the first quarter clock.
A rebound bucket by Josh Steele stopped the bleeding momentarily for the visitors, however, Uppleby answered with a triple to push the margin to five, 7-2. Six different players would crack the scoring column for the hosts in the opening eight minutes of play with senior Andrew Bayer hitting a deuce and a trey as Parkersburg took a 14-point, 22-8, lead into the second quarter of action.
“Our guys really came out with a lot of energy,” continued Mennillo. “They did a great job of guarding the ball and really focused on the offensive end.
“We kind of lost some of our focus after we jumped out to the big lead and began shooting too many threes in that second quarter. But, we brought them over and talked to them (the players) about that and I’m not sure if we shot another three the rest of the game.”
The Big Reds didn’t need to.
Spring Valley kept the margin to within 10, 28-18, with 2:05 left in the first half of action. But, a 5-0 run by the hosts pushed the margin to 15, 33-18, before a late bucket by the Timberwolves’ Tucker Meade sent the two teams to the locker rooms at the intermission with PHS leading by 13, 33-20.
Seven points by Webster in the third quarter pushed that lead to 16, 46-30, heading into the final eight minutes of play and Spring Valley would never get closer than that until both teams pulled their starters midway through the fourth quarter.
“It’s really good,” said the Big Reds coach. “Our guys are getting to that point where a lot of teams started the season. It’s going to be interesting to see if we can continue to build off of these wins and have the type of year we all were expecting that we’d have.”
Mennillo will get a chance to see if that improvement continues on Thursday when his Big Reds travel to South Charleston to take on the No. 3 ranked Black Eagles.