Parkersburg South girls Charleston-bound after beating Spring Valley in regional co-final

Photo by Joe Albright The Parkersburg South girls basketball team defeated Spring Valley in a Class AAA, Region IV co-final Tuesday at Rod Oldham Athletic Center to advance to the state tournament.

PARKERSBURG — A one-year absence from the state tournament was enough for the Parkersburg South girls’ basketball team.

The Patriots earned a trip back to the Charleston Civic Center Tuesday night by playing a stifling zone on Spring Valley in a 62-36 Class AAA Region IV co-final victory.

“This is really special to us,” said Patriot senior Devin Hefner, who tallied a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds on the evening. “We didn’t get to go last year and that made us work even harder in the off-season.”

The victory was an all-around team effort for the blue and white with a touch of red. Ed Davis’ squad assisted on 17 of 25 made field goals on the evening.

Sierra Hays got the sharing started early when she found Hefner in the lane on the opening score of the game for one of her game-high five assists.

Makenna Winans and Allie Taylor added buckets of their own and staked South to a 6-0 lead before a minute had gone off the clock.

The trio also were the only Patriots to score in double-digits. Taylor had a game-high 17 points, while Winans chipped in 11 markers.

Madison Vaughn finally got the home team on the board when she connected on a foul shot with 6:33 left on the clock.

Taylor answered back with a 3 just a few seconds later to put the lead at 9-1. Yet, Spring Valley fought back and behind 10 more points from Vaughn pulled to within 18-17 after one period of play.

Most of the scoring came with easy drives down the lane, but those didn’t last after the second eight-minute session got underway. The only point of the second period was a Vaughn free throw after a foul on a drive to the basektball with 3:46 left until halftime.

“We worked the 3-2 most of the year and the kids are comfortable playing it and it stopped some of the dribble penetration,” said Davis. “They had a good game plan and the Vaughn girls were tough driving it in there.”

South turned an 11-point halftime advantage into an 18-point lead with a 9-3 run to start the second half. Taylor tallied five points during the streak, while Haley McComas hit a trey for the Timberwolves.

In an effort to make things closer, Spring Valley coach Bo Miller switched to a full-court press shortly after the Patriots’ run. This did help his team get some more shots (they generated five turnovers), but they couldn’t get anything to fall.

Timberwolves’ shooters were just 3 of 12 after the move.

Most of those attemtps were one-and-done as the Patriots dominated on the boards with a 40-24 advantage.

“I am thrilled for the kids,” said Davis, who knows there are high expectations on his program every year. “That is the goal every year and that is good. It is just a nice feeling and we told them when we were out running on the football field in August this is why you do it.”

South now stands three games away from its fourth state championship in program history.