One-sided affair for South

PARKERSBURG – Regardless of its talent, top-ranked Parkersburg South could not envision a 56-point victory against its crosstown rival.

Yet, that’s exactly what transpired Monday night at Memorial Fieldhouse as the Patriots’ defensive tenacity limited the Big Reds to five made field goals in an 83-27 win.

Behind 22 points from Keya Bartlett and another stat frenzy from Taryn McCutcheon, South improved to 11-0.

The Patriots scored the first nine points of the game then experienced a 3 1/2-minute lull before building a 29-8 lead midway into the second quarter.

“We started a little slow and a lot of that was the adrenaline and the emotion of this game, but once we got through that we played pretty well,” South coach Scott Stephens said.

In attendance was an assistant coach from Michigan State where McCutcheon has given a verbal commitment. And the sophomore point guard made quite a lasting impression after scoring 13 points to go with seven assists, seven steals and eight rebounds all in three quarters of work.

“It just seems like this team keeps getting better and better,” McCutcheon said. “Our defense just takes a lot of heart and discipline. We practice it every day – we have a drill called the push-up drill. Every time we don’t do something we’re supposed to do, 10 push-ups. After a while of that, you’re going to get it.”

The Big Reds’ shooting woes, which resulted in 12 percent (5-of-43) from the floor, allowed South to score 38 unanswered points and extend the advantage to 67-8 with one minute remaining in the third quarter.

South’s third-quarter production was led by Bartlett’s 13 points, including two as a result of McCutcheon’s behind-the-back pass to complete a 2-on-1 fast break. None of South’s starters saw any minutes in the fourth quarter.

“Because of this atmosphere and there’s so many things you are fighting against – like the fans – I couldn’t imagine we would play this well and have such a big win over Parkersburg,” McCutcheon said.

Anna Hayton nearly produced a double-double for South after scoring 12 points to go with nine rebounds. Teammate Katelyn Byrd finished with nine points, 11 rebounds and three assists, while Laken Valentine provided a scoring spark as one of the multitude of reserves for both teams after scoring nine points.

Nicole Dent led PHS (3-10) with seven points, while another Big Red bench player Taylor Foster made all six of her points from the free-throw line.

“We just have to keep doing what we need to to get better,” PHS coach Kenny DeMoss said. “The effort was much better than it was the last time we played them, hands down. We were wanting to take a lot of shots per quarter, but the number of shots we took in one half was what I wanted to take in one quarter.

“We weren’t trapping the ball extremely hard like we did our last game against Winfield. Plus, we turned the ball over more.”

Pending the weather, South has its hands full this week. Tenth-ranked Morgantown visits the Rod Oldham Athletic Center on Wednesday. The following day, South travels to the Big Atlantic Classic to meet Class AA top-ranked Westside. A possible matchup with second-ranked Greenbrier East could occur on Saturday.

“This is an important week,” McCutcheon said. “Those will be three tough games to play in four days, so we really need to get a lot of rest and play as well as we can.”