Patriots roll past Ripley girls on Senior Night

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg South’s Charity Anderson (5) defends against the drive of Ripley’s Jadyn Simon during the Patriots’ 62-32 senior night victory on Thursday at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.

PARKERSBURG — Senior night went just fine for No. 4 Parkersburg South here Thursday inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center as head coach Ed Davis’ program extended its winning streak to eight games during a 62-32 victory against No. 13 Ripley.

Savannah Hays, who was lost for the season due to a knee injury, suited up in her old number zero and was allowed to score the first basket of the game, which came off Devin Hefner’s tip and an assist by Allie Taylor. Hays, Hefner and Taylor were honored prior to the game along with fellow Patriot 12th-graders Charity Anderson and Allyssa Wilson as too were Vikings Lexi Miller, Presley Fisher and Mary Pierson, who was allowed to score a deuce to tie the game for the only time at two apiece.

“Our coach (assistant) Gary Harvey, he said a couple weeks ago it would be great if we could get Savannah out there and at least introduce her,” said Davis, whose club got 12 points and seven boards from Taylor as well as 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks by Makenna Winans. “We talked to all the important people and they said it was all OK and I mentioned it to (Ripley head coach) John (Kennedy).

“He said put her (Hays) under the basket and let her score and we have a kid and he was great about that. That was totally his idea to let them do that and what a class act he is, their staff and their kids.”

Taylor’s bucket in the paint just 46 seconds in actually gave PSHS the lead for good as the Patriots pushed ahead 15-2 early. Sierra Hays, who had nine points, four assists and four steals, had a 3 in the 13-0 run which was capped by a Winans lay-in via a Wilson dime.

A foul shot by Miller and Taylor Kennedy’s trifecta cut the deficit to 15-6, but Wilson got a putback for an 11-point lead after one.

Ripley, which dropped to 10-6 and takes on South Charleston Monday at West Virginia State University, found itself down 31-10 with 2:45 left in the half after Taylor drained a corner 3 via a Kenzie Johnson assist. Although Katelyn Sarver connected from long range thanks to a Jaelyn Hunt assist, Sierra Hays answered with a triple of her own. Another putback by Wilson closed the first-half scoring with the hosts ahead 36-13. Taylor had a trio of 3s in the stanza while Sierra Hays had a pair.

Winans dominated the start of the third with a trio of hoops and the Patriots’ lead was at 47-16 after Anderson hit from downtown. Two foul shots by Viking Jadyn Simon closed the period, but Ripley trailed 47-18 entering the final eight minutes.

Hunt sank four 3-pointers in the fourth and finished with a game-high 15 points. South’s Rylee Harner had six of her eight counters in the fourth. Amber Flinn and Ashleigh Utt also tacked on deuces for the hosts down the stretch.

Fisher finished with four points, three rebounds and a game-high four blocked shots.

Parkersburg South now will carry a 14-3 record into Monday’s Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 5A semifinal at No. 1 seed Brooke.

“We’ll have a short practice (today) because of Anna’s Army game for the boys and we’ll have a little longer practice on Saturday to get ready for Brooke,” coach Davis added. “They are much improved. We’re looking forward to going there.”

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