Patriots hand rival Big Reds 71-46 loss

PARKERSBURG – Parkersburg South completed half of its equation from a regular-season city title versus Parkersburg High Monday night in front of a full house at Rod Oldham Athletic Center.

Yet, the Patriots have their sights on bigger and better things, and that picture won’t evolve until the postseason arrives.

Behind five double-figure scorers, South handled the Big Reds 71-46 and remained unbeaten at 5-0.

“We didn’t preach this game as a rivalry game,” South coach Mike Fallon said. “We want to make it to Charleston, so this was more a sectional-type seeding game for us. That was our desire than maybe the rivalry.”

A non-starter led the Patriots in scoring as Garrett Gilkeson poured in 15 points, while Ty Dobson and J.R. Kerr both pitched in 13 points. Junior guard Cody Monroe peppered the stat sheet with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists.

“We’re so hard to defend because we have so many kids who can shoot and score, and handle the basketball,” Fallon said.

Parkersburg’s downfall was its shooting woes. In the first half, South built a 32-13 lead as the Big Reds connected on just 19 percent (5-of-26) from the floor.

After Big Reds’ Mike Ramsey knocked down a 3-pointer to open the scoring in the second quarter, PHS trailed by just six at 16-10. But PHS hit a drought during the next 6 minutes and managed just one free throw while falling further behind 28-11.

“We didn’t cut well, we didn’t screen well and didn’t get near enough movement offensively in the first half,” PHS coach Jeff Mennillo said after his ballclub lost for the second straight game and fell to 2-2. “Our inexperience showed in a big way. We’re obviously disappointed. We didn’t represent the program well at all.”

The Big Reds’ only lead of the game occurred in the first minutes of the game when Ramsey’s 3-pointer put his team in front 3-0. South then responded with consecutive buckets by Logan Lawrentz as part of a 9-0 run. By the end of the period, five different Patriots had scored as the gap increased to 16-7.

Kerr took care of the scoring responsibilities in the second quarter with six points, but it was the hustle play of Gilkeson who created a 32-13 South lead at halftime. With 10 seconds remaining before intermission, Gilkeson made two free throws and on the ensuing inbounds pass made a steal in the backcourt and converted the layup.

“At halftime, I was more proud of our defense than our offense,” Fallon said. “To hold them to 13 points was a big thing for me.”

PHS was playing its fourth straight game on the road.

“Our schedule has not been conducive to a lot of things,” Mennillo said. “”We’re always shooting in somebody else’s gym, and for a team that is maybe struggling a little bit offensively it would be nice to play in familiar settings and surroundings.”

Poor ballhandling plagued PHS in the third quarter as South forced six turnovers in the first four minutes. Despite making their first three attempts from the field, the Big Reds found themselves behind 49-19.

The gap reached as many as 36 points at 66-30 with 4 minutes left in regulation.

“South is a very solid basketball team – you make a mistake and they usually make you pay for it,” Mennillo said.

Lawrentz also reached double-digits in scoring with 10 points. Ja’Darien Wade paced PHS with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Jordan Colebank added nine points.