PHS/South boys basketball here we come

Parkersburg takes care of Ripley to advance

Photo by Jay W. Bennett Ripley’s Ty Johnson gets his shot rejected by Parkersburg’s Brenton Strange during the Big Reds’ 84-43 Class AAA, Region IV, Section 1 victory against the Vikings on Wednesday night inside Memorial Fieldhouse. PHS now plays at 7 p.m. Friday for the sectional title at rival Parkersburg South’s Rod Oldham Athletic Center.

PARKERSBURG — Sam Potts dribbled out the last 8 seconds here Wednesday night inside Memorial Fieldhouse and host Parkersburg had all five starters finish in double figures as the Big Reds rolled to an 84-43 Class AAA, Region IV, Section 1 victory against Ripley.

The Vikings, who fell 85-36 to the now 13-10 Big Reds of head coach Jeff Mennillo in their only regular season meeting, trailed 10-0 out of the gate and never led.

Parker Miller finished with game-highs of 16 points and four steals for the Big Reds, who now play for the sectional championship at 7 p.m. Friday versus rival Parkersburg South at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.

“I thought our kids played with pretty good focus and had a definite grasp of what they wanted to do,” said Mennillo, who got 15 points and a game-high eight rebounds from Brenton Strange while fellow red and white starters Dylan Shaver (11), Seth Dailey (10) and Kionte Peacock (10) also provided some offensive punch. “I thought they executed pretty well with it.

“Once we got up, I thought we maintained our focus kind of throughout, which was really good to see. These guys have really evolved as a basketball team. Hopefully, they are just now starting to hit their stride and hit their peak. We feel like we are in a really good place.”

Strange opened the scoring with a three-point play 1:05 into the tilt and then had a tip-in off a Miller attempted runner. After Miller scored inside, Shaver hit a 3 for the 10-0 advantage after working the inside-outside game with Strange.

Jaxon Harris, who led the 2-21 Vikings with 15 markers, hit a deep shot in the corner thanks to an Isaiah Riffe (seven points) assist for their first bucket of the game, which came at 4:35 of the first.

Despite two foul shots from Ty Johnson, who went for 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and a game-high three blocks, as well as a deuce by Riffe, the Vikings trailed 20-9 after one.

Deontae Mosley’s hoop which came after a Jacob Fouty offensive rebound had it 22-11 early in the second, but the Vikings never got closer than 10 the rest of the way. Harris hit a 3 at the 6:04 mark, which made it 24-14, but PHS pushed its advantage to 42-22 by halftime. Jake Johnson had a steal and a layup while Dailey, Braeden Mason and Shaver also had 3s in what turned out to be an 18-8 run.

PHS, which hit 34 of 61 (55.7 percent) from the floor including 9 of 18 from deep, used its press to force 10 first-half Ripley turnovers. The Big Reds opened the third quarter on a 10-0 run as the Vikings had three more turnovers in the first 55 seconds after intermission.

The Big Reds pushed ahead 65-32 entering the fourth behind a late 3 from the top of the key by Max Anderson as well as a Gavin Dudley hoop off a Jake Johnson dime.

Parkersburg also tacked on three more 3s in the fourth — one each from Dailey, Potts and Noah Umpleby.

Viking Griffin Durst finished with four points, four rebounds and a pair of steals. The Big Reds blocked seven shots, getting two apiece from Strange and Miller.