PCHS rocks Ritchie County

PARKERSBURG – Seniors Jake Ullman and Joe Padden each hit for 23 points as host Parkersburg Catholic bested Ritchie County 81-64 Tuesday night to take a perfect 11-0 LKC North record into Saturday’s LKC championship game versus Gilmer County.

Ullman tallied 20 points in the first half, including 18 in the second quarter with four treys, to spark a 30-point second stanza as the Crusaders zoomed out to 44-28 lead at the half.

Meanwhile, Padden collected 11 points in the first half and 12 in the second half with a trio of treys total as he closes in on 1,000 points in his Catholic cage career.

PC jumped out to a 7-0 lead in the initial 2:20 of the game, but the Rebels battled back within three at 11-8 and trailed just 14-10 at the quarter break.

Ritchie (4-12) closed to 14-12 to start the second period before Ullman – honored before the game as a McDonald’s All-American nominee – went off for all but 10 of PC’s points in the quarter.

But in the third period, after falling behind by 18 at 46-28, Ritchie rallied back with a 7-0 run to pull within 46-35 at the 4:57 mark, only to see Catholic score 15 of the final 23 points in the quarter to send the Crusaders back in front by 18 again at 61-43 heading to the fourth. The last quarter was basically a standoff with the Rebels holding a 21-20 edge.

After Padden and Ullman for PC (12-7) were Payton Sturm with nine points and Austin Luther with six.

For Ritchie, Seth Cottrill netted 21 points, while Riley Allen added 18 and A.J. Collins had 17.

“We won four in a row now and are on a little bit of a run, and we are starting to gel a little better right now, especially on defense the last three or four games,” said Catholic head coach Rob Strcula.

PC’s 30-point second quarter, added Strcula, was “a testament to some team basketball. Sure, you gotta be hitting some shots, but you’ve also got to be sharing the basketball a lot.”