Patriots are on the precipice
PARKERSBURG – If you think things are exciting around your household this week, you should visit the Fallon residence.
Tonight, Parkersburg South head boys basketball coach Mike Fallon will lead his Patriots into a Class A Region 1 contest against Preston at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center with the winner advancing to next week’s state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
Meanwhile, his daughter, Mykayln Fallon, is a member of the defending state champion and top-ranked Parkersburg South girls team that opens state tournament play on Wednesday in Charleston.
“It’s pretty neat,” coach Fallon said. “We were talking about that last night.”
But before that scenario becomes a reality Fallon’s 18-6 squad must defeat visiting Preston (12-13), which possesses one of the state’s top individual performers and scorers in Jimmy Galusky, who not only scores at a rate of 28 points per game, but also already has committed to continue sports career -in baseball -at West Virginia University.
South is coming off perhaps its most impressive performance of the season in last Friday’s Class AAA, Region 1, Section 1 title game. Not only did the Patriots lay an 87-73 beating on Wheeling Park, but they also did so on the road. As a result of that victory, South is home for today’s 7 p.m. regional and given the atmosphere that will take place at the Oldham Center tonight, that’s a huge advantage for the home team. Look for a packed house and a loud cheering section led by the South Side Psychos.
Leading the Patriots against Wheeling Park with a career-high 34-point performance was 6-foot-6 senior Logan Lawrentz.
“Logan is playing with confidence,” Fallon said. “He’s attacking the rim.”
Fallon attributes his team’s improvement as the season progressed with his players spending a great deal of time in the weight room.
“It has made a huge difference,” he said. “The kids have really bought into the weight program.”
South’s strategy is a rather simple one. The Patriots run players in-and-out of the game at will. That’s because Fallon has a deep bench that allows him to substitute freely. Plus, South plays at a fast pace. If the opponent doesn’t have a strong bench, its starters had better be in shape or they going to be wore down by the fourth quarter.
The Patriots have had nine different players score in double figures. Lawrentz’s 34 is the season high while Ty Dobson had a 30-point game. JR Kerr had a 23-point game, Tyler Berry 22, Cody Monroe 17, Garrett Gilkeson 15, Dylon Rippeto 12, Tristan Stone 11 and Logan Fryfogle 10.
Fallon knows Preston is a dangerous opponent as evidenced by a regular season win over Morgantown, a team South has beaten in one of three meetings this season.
But he also knows if the Patriots can bottle up their performance against Wheeling Park, there will be two Fallons vying for championships in Charleston over the next two weeks.