Major run lifts Patriots past Brooke

PARKERSBURG -Pitching a shutout for nearly two full quarters wasn’t a guarantee the Parkersburg South girls basketball team would avoid the penalty of a post-game practice.

Friday afternoon at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center, the top-ranked Patriots scored 42 unanswered points during one stretch and defeated the Brooke Bruins, 73-21. The Patriots remained unbeaten at 5-0, while Brooke dropped to 2-4.

South coach Scott Stephens was disappointed in his ballclub’s offense, especially after a 19-percent (9-of-47) shooting effort in the first half.

“Our shooting was awful,” Stephens said. “Our intensity wasn’t very good. We just didn’t look very good.”

Perhaps the afternoon tipoff played a factor. Regardless, the Patriots made amends on the defensive end of the court where they forced 38 turnovers. Keya Bartlett with a game-high seven steals and Taryn McCutcheon with six steals both surpassed the five steals produced as a team by Brooke.

“Defensively, we were OK,” Stephens said. “But offensively, it didn’t look like the same team I’ve been coaching for the first four games.”

After limiting Brooke to two points in the second quarter, South took a 30-7 lead into intermission. As soon as the second half commenced, the Patriots found a spark with back-to-back 3-pointers from McCutcheon and Bartlett.

Bartlett scored 12 of her team-high 14 points as South accounted for the first 27 points of the third quarter.

“I told the girls at halftime if they didn’t play better in the third quarter, we were practicing after the game,” Stephens said. “That may have motivated them.”

Two free throws from Brooke’s Angela Staffileno with 52.6 seconds remaining in the period snapped a scoring drought which lasted 14 1/2 minutes. Actually, the Bruins went nearly 19 1/2 minutes without a field goal after Gabriella Velegol hit a bucket 30 seconds into the second quarter which cut South’s lead to 15-7.

South’s 11 steals in the second quarter followed by nine more in the third quarter created too much havoc for Brooke.

“We played well on defense, but we were still a step slow,” Stephens said.

McCutcheon finished with 13 points and three assists, while teammate Carlie Wilson had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Also turning in a double-double from the visitor’s sideline was Staffileno with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Seven of Staffileno’s points occurred in the fourth quarter against South’s third string. For the game, the Bruins connected on just 18 percent (7-of-40) from the floor.

Next up for the Patriots are their crosstown rival next Thursday as the Big Reds from Parkersburg visit the South campus.

“Parkersburg is winning some games and they are playing well,” Stephens said. “It will be a lot different game against them. They are a perimeter-oriented team and move the basketball well. Brooke Kurucz will be hard to guard, so it should be a good game.”

The game will be designated as the “Battle against ALS.” In addition to selling orange T-shirts for an “orange out,” a dedication ceremony will be conducted before the game to honor the legacy of former South and PHS coach Larry Edwards, who died earlier this year from ALS. A presentation will be made to his wife, Carolyn.