Defense propels PHS past Ripley

PARKERSBURG – For the first three quarters of their Mountain State Athletic Conference matchup with visiting Ripley, Parkersburg head coach Jeff Mennillo urged his Big Reds to pick up their intensity level on defense.

The hosts finally paid attention to their veteran leader in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of the first 18 points of the period en route to handing the Vikings a 63-46 setback Thursday night at Memorial Fieldhouse.

With the victory Parkersburg, which was awarded a forfeit win over Riverside earlier in the day, improved to 7-11 on the season with a home encounter with George Washington slated for Monday. Ripley, which played the game without leading scorer Kade Harrison, dropped to 6-13 on the campaign with a home game against Point Pleasant on Tuesday.

Parkersburg opened the game fast as sophomore Michael Ramsey tallied all five of his points as the Big Reds jumped out to a 20-4 lead with one minute left to play. A three-point play by Justin Mcknown and a triple by Morgan Graves just before the horn sounded to end the period allowed the visitors to pull to within 15, 25-10, entering the second quarter of action.

The Big Reds continued to increase their advantage as a steal by senior Braeden Cabbil, who finished with 11 points, six rebounds and a game-high five steals, turned into a Trevor Britton lay-in and ignited a 10-8 spurt by the hosts, giving PHS a 35-18 lead with four and one half minutes left until the intermission.

Britton, who finished with 10 points, two assists and three steals before having to the leave the game with 2:27 showing on the clock after taking a hard hit to the head, added a pair of free throws and Cabbil went one-for-two at the line as Parkersburg led at the half by 16 points, 38-22.

The loss of Britton would come back to haunt the red and white in the third quarter, however, as the Vikings’ sliced the deficit to nine, 44-35, on a Jacob Haynes triple with 1:35 showing on the clock.

Parkersburg countered by scoring the final three points of the period on a Reid Strobl bucket and another one-for-two effort by Cabbil at the charity stripe. That would be as close as the game would get as a steal by Cabbil and a long pass by the senior down the court to a wide open Jordan Colebank resulted in an easy deuce and ignited a Big Red run that saw the margin balloon to 24 points, 62-38, on a Dru Aldridge bucket with 2:30 left in the game.

Three players reached double figures for the Big Reds. Cabbil and Ben Umpleby each tallied 11 points while Britton finished with 10. Aldridge chipped in with eight points and Andrew Bayer and Colebank added six apiece.

Ripley was led by Casey Smith and Chuck Sleboda, who finished with a game-high 13 points apiece. But, the loss of Harrison, who was out with a leg injury, was more than the Vikings could overcome.

Well, that and the Big Red defense.