PHS roars back in 4th quarter

PARKERSBURG -Parkersburg’s leading scorer trumped Riverside’s top point producer when it counted.

Tuesday night at Memorial Fieldhouse, Ja’Darien Wade scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth quarter as Parkersburg rallied from a 10-point deficit with five minutes remaining in regulation and defeated the Warriors, 68-64.

“What make me optimistic is the way the rest of the guys tried to find Ja’Darien the ball down the stretch,” PHS coach Jeff Mennillo said after his club improved to 4-9. “That’s a selfless act to do that.”

The outlook appeared bleak when Tyus Wood knocked down a 3-pointer out of a Riverside timeout to put the Warriors in front 58-48 with five minutes left in the fourth quarter. Wood, who began the night averaging 21 points per game, finished with 19.

Wade’s teammates then took turns finding the 6-foot-3 junior open inside the paint. Wade accounted for three of the Big Reds’ next four buckets, including a give-and-go from Cole Day to cut the deficit to 58-56 at the 3:02 mark.

Tamar Lawson’s field goal interrupted the PHS run but the Big Reds continued to force the tempo with a full-court trap and scored eight straight points. Jordan Colebank, who finished with 19 points and eight rebounds, capped the spurt with a three-point play.

“Jordan is playing out of this world since the Winfield game,” Mennillo said.

Riverside sliced the gap to two points on two occasions with the final instance occurring at the 29-second mark on Quan Brock’s basket.

In the next 16 seconds, the two head coaches called a total of four timeouts. In between, Levi Hays connected on one-of-two free throws for a 67-64 PHS advantage.

When the two sides broke the huddle for good at 13.4 seconds, Riverside looked to set up a 3-point attempt but the ball was thrown out of bounds with 6.1 seconds showing.

Colebank was fouled with seventh-tenths of a second to go and made the first free throw but missed the second attempt. Riverside’s Josh Carpenter, who finished with 16 points and 10 boards, pulled down the rebound but did not even look at his basket as time ran out.

Day, who finished with five steals and four assists, scored in double figures with 11 points. His three steals in the first quarter enabled PHS to produce an 18-4 run which gave the Big Reds 20-10 lead heading into the second quarter. Behind the playmaking ability of Wood, who finished with five rebounds and four assists, Riverside would not go away quietly. Six straight points from the Warriors to close the first half whittled the PHS lead to 33-31.

The third quarter witnessed seven lead changes. Riverside then established what appeared to be a comfort zone early in the fourth quarter by reeling off eight straight points to break a 47-47 tie.

“We are growing toward being a good basketball team, but we are still not there yet,” Mennillo said. “But I like where we are at. I think we will be a solid basketball team come tournament time.”