South roars past Belpre

PARKERSBURG – Host Parkersburg South got off to a fast 10-0 lead and never let up in registering a 72-38 boys basketball win over Belpre on Senior Night at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center Thursday.

The sixth-ranked Class AAA Patriots ended their regular season with an 18-4 record heading into the first round of the sectional tournament Wednesday at 7 p.m. versus visiting Parkersburg High.

Belpre (14-10) meanwhile, having already played a Division III tournament game in Ohio, resumes tourney action at 3 p.m. Saturday against Zane Trace at Athens High School in a sectional championship contest.

It was only fitting on Senior Night that three Patriot senior cagers would lead the way in the win – Wes Mitchem with a game-high 21 points, Doug Dennis with 13 and Tyler Bolen with eight and as many assists. Tyler Berry off the bench also tallied eight points for South.

The Golden Eagles were paced by Nick Therriault and Ryan Leasure with 10 points each.

South jumped off with the 10-0 burst on two hoops by Dennis, two long passes by Bolen to Cox and Mitchell on the break for layups, and Bolen taking a feed on the baseline for a bucket in the first 2:22 of the game.

Belpre finally scored at the 3:47 mark of the initial period on a Therriault basket. But the Patriots then went on another spurt of 8-2, capped by a Mitchem trey, in the final 2:22 of the opening quarter to grab an 18-4 advantage after just eight minutes of play.

The lead reached as much as 21 in the second stanza before Belpre made inroads, narrowing the gap to 15 twice.

But Berry had a field goal and two free throws in the last 1:15 of the half to hand South a 37-18 lead at intermission.

The Patriots, however, really got rolling again in the third quarter behind Mitchem’s 11 points to outscore the Golden Eagles 22-11 in the period to surge ahead by a commanding 30 points at 59-29, rendering the fourth quarter basically academic.

”This was good for us tonight to get out here and play, instead of having a week and a half off between games,” said South head coach Mike Fallon. ”Now we can go back and work on things we need to adjust before the sectional next week.”

Belpre head coach Jordan Thornhill ”felt like we had our opportunities to stay in the game in the first half, but we just didn’t make any plays. We were just completely shell-shocked. The atmosphere was large, and we just didn’t adjust for it.”