South beats Brooke

PARKERSBURG – Sectional top seed Parkersburg South, running at every opportunity in the first half, burst out to 50-24 lead en route to a 76-49 girls basketball win over visiting Brooke Wednesday night at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center, setting up a home Class AAA Region I, Section 1 championship clash with second seed Wheeling Park at 7 p.m. Friday.

The Patriots, ranked No. 6 in AAA in the state AP poll this week, looked for a while Wednesday like it might duplicate their 100-44 regular-season victory over the sectional fourth seed Bruins on Dec. 27 at Oldham.

But after the margin reached 32 at 66-34 by the end of three quarters, the South reserves basically played the entire final period.

South and Park, who split 1-1 so far this season, will square off a third time in a Patriots vs. Patriots matchup after Park downed visiting third seed Parkersburg High 68-51 in the other Section 1 semifinal Wednesday night in Wheeling.

South got balanced scoring Wednesday, led by Keya Bartlett with 20 points, including three straight treys to open the second half, followed by 13 points each from Taryn McCutcheon and Miranda Workman, and 12 from Carlie Wilson

The Patriots, now 15-7, also had 17 assists, led by freshman McCutcheon with eight, and 28 steals, paced by four each from McCutcheon, Lacey Cale and Workman.

Brooke, although closing out its season at 4-19, had game-high scoring honors from Angela Staffileno with 26 points, while Payge Farmer netted nine.

On Wednesday, South led from 4-2 on after Workman canned a 3-ball at 6:33 of the first quarter. That was the start of a 12-2 Patriot run, capped by a nifty Kayleigh Rexroad to McCutcheon to Wilson fast-break basket at the 5:07 mark for a 13-4 lead.

A McCutcheon hoop with 11 seconds left in the period made it a 14-point, 27-13, bulge that grew to 20 at 35-15 when South began the second stanza with an 8-0 spurt.

The gap reached 26 at 48-22 on a late 6-0 mini-run, with Workman notching two buckets to finish it off.

Then Bartlett’s second trey in the third quarter hiked the lead up to 33 and Cale’s hoop to open the fourth saw the lead hit its zenith on the night at 34 at 68-34.

Wheeling Park 68, PHS 51

WHEELING – Not even Imani Ward’s 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the third quarter could save Parkersburg from losing at Wheeling Park 68-51 in a Class AAA, Region I, Section 1 opener on Wednesday night.

Haley Robb knocked down three 3-pointers and scored 10 points as Wheeling Park bolted out to a 17-9 lead after one quarter. The gap extended to 39-13 by halftime before PHS made its final push after outscoring the Patriots 25-10 in the third quarter.

Ward’s only 3-pointer of the season, which originated from 6 feet behind the arc, came off an assist from Megan Morrison, and left the Big Reds trailing 49-38 as the third quarter came to an end.

Robb sealed the win for Wheeling Park (14-8) by converting 5-of-6 free throws and finished with 11 of her 26 points in the final eight minutes as the Patriots iced the 17-point victory.

Emily Puskarich led Wheeling Park with 30 points, while three PHS players scored in double figures. Leading the way for the Big Reds (13-10) were Ward with 13 points, Morrison with 12 points and Brooke Kurucz with 11 points.