Parkersburg South girls ready for title run

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Parkersburg South’s Sierra Hays, pictured here playing tight defense against Huntington’s LaTahia Jackson, will join her fellow Patriot teammates for an 11:15 a.m. Class AAA state tournament quarterfinal tip today against Woodrow Wilson. South head coach Ed Davis’ squad has the No. 2 seed and the Flying Eagles have the No. 7 seed.

PARKERSBURG — Woodrow Wilson is making an appearance in the Class AAA state basketball tournament for the first time in nine years.

The Parkersburg South girls of second-year head coach Ed Davis, who haven’t been to the Charleston Civic Center since 2016 under then head man Scott Stephens, are hoping to make the Flying Eagles’ stay a short one when their quarterfinal showdown gets underway at 11:15 a.m. today.

“South is a great team and great program and great tradition,” said WWHS head coach Brian Nabors, whose club is 14-10 and has the No. 7 seed. “We have to play great team defense. One person is not going to stop (Devin) Hefner or (Makenna) Winans.

“They are two great players who know how to play. They are well coached and we just have to put in a great team effort in order to contain those players and have a chance at beating them.”

Hefner leads the second-seeded Patriots in scoring (17.7 ppg) while Winans (15.8 ppg) is second on the team. Allie Taylor is putting up 11 points an outing for PSHS, which also boasts Sierra Hays (7.3 ppg), Allyssa Wilson (4.4 ppg) and Kenzie Johnson, who leads the team with 4.1 assists per game.

Wilson, Hefner, Taylor, Charity Anderson and injured Savannah Hays are the Patriots’ seniors.

“Devin is really the only one we have who has some experience,” coach Davis said of playing in the state tournament, where the Patriots were ousted in the state semifinals by Morgantown back in 2016.

“Savannah Hays played two years ago, but of course she’s out for the year. Devin played some meaningful minutes and Allie Taylor dressed, but didn’t play.”

Woodrow Wilson is expected to start just one senior in guard/forward Sydni Darden. Freshman Coley Frantz runs the point while the other starters should be Laken Ball, Victoria Stein and Liz Cadle.

“I think it starts on the defensive end for us,” Davis said of his 20-3 club, which likes to press and get easy buckets. “We try to get so much of our offense from our defense.

“Hopefully, we can get out and be active and burn off some of the nervous energy. We want to try and get as much in transition as we can.”

The two teams did not meet during the regular season and coach Nabors admitted although he expects his girls “to come out and be ready to play in any situation we are faced with, this team is really inexperienced especially in this type of environment,” while adding his program isn’t deep off the bench.

Parkersburg South will be leaving at 8 a.m. today and if the Patriots continue to win they will make the trek back to Charleston on both Friday and Saturday.

“This senior class has been great. The five seniors have been great leaders for us,” Davis added. “They’ve been outstanding and it’s a credit to them and that’s why we are still playing and have this opportunity.

“I think we are tired of practicing and I am sure Woodrow is too. I think the kids want to play.”

If the Patriots advance, they will return to action at 9 p.m. Friday versus the winner of Thursday night’s game between Parkersburg (19-6) and Martinsburg (18-7).