This week in MOV athletics

Basketball now takes center stage for the rest of the winter sports campaign after the completion of a fairly smooth state wrestling tournament Saturday in Huntington.

Mountain State hoops fans will have a complete picture of who is playing in the girls’ state tournament and what the boys’ regional co-finals look like by the end of the week.

Four of our local girls’ basketball squads are in the mix for a trip to Charleston in Parkersburg, Parkersburg South, Parkersburg Catholic and Williamstown.

In Class AAA, Scott Cozzens’ fourth-ranked Big Reds are looking for a second straight trip to the Mountain State’s capital, while Ed Davis’ second-ranked Patriots seek a return to the final contests of the season after missing out last year.

PHS goes on the road to No. 5 Cabell Midland for a 7 p.m. start time on Tuesday.

South, though, earned a home game after beating the Big Reds 69-58 in the sectional final Friday night. The Patriots host Spring Valley at the same time Tuesday.

Keep an eye out for the preview in Tuesday morning’s paper.

Similar to the blue and white with a touch of red, Class A No. 2 Parkersburg Catholic stays at home thanks to its 73-60 win over No. 6 Williamstown on Thursday.

Marty Vierheller’s team welcomes in a Sherman clan who fell to top-ranked Huntington St. Joe in the Region IV, Section 2 final.

Nothing gets easier for the Tide as the Crusaderettes are just like the Irish.

Vierheller’s team can hurt you in so many different ways. They can score in transition and in the halfcourt, have great shooters from range and have plenty of driving and slashing guards not afraid to take the ball inside the lane. Couple all of this with a stifling press and lockdown defense and Terri Dawn Williams’ team could be in for another long evening.

Meanwhile if Fred Sauro’s bunch hopes to return to the Civic Center for a second time in two years, they must get by the reigning state champion Irish in Huntington. The Yellowjackets certainly have the guards, low-post presence and style of defense to hang with St. Joe in the halfcourt, but they have to win the transition game with a tough press to keep their season alive.

This is no doubt a tall task as Shannon Lewis’ group has three great ball handlers in Dena Jarrells, Paige Shy and Bailey Adkins, but I never say never when it comes to a Sauro-coached squad.

Over in Ohio, the Waterford girls stands one win away while Fort Frye is two victories from the regional tournament.

After the PHS and South girls met for the sectional title last week, it certainly appears the boys are on track to do the samething one week later. Jeff Mennillo’s Big Reds have to get by Ripley before anything becomes official, but a third game between the Patriots and Big Reds appears imminent on Friday night.

PHS hosts the Vikings at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

There are two intriguing matchups in Class A’s Region IV, Section 1 this week. First up, the two teams to play top-ranked Ravenswood the closest without beating them this season meet when Williamstown and Parkersburg Catholic get together at 7 p.m.Wednesday.

The winner gets a date with the Red Devils at “The Pit” in the sectional final at 7 p.m. Friday.

Lastly in the college ranks, both Marietta College teams should begin NCAA Tournament play this week. Projections have both Pioneer programs in the field.

Let the games begin!

Contact Joe Albright at