South’s three weeks smooth
Patriot boys have different view of summer-time event
PARKERSBURG –Anyone spending time around Parkersburg South boys’ basketball head coach Mike Fallon knows he is a competitive person. A character trait doubling almost every time he is on a basketball court. His fiery desire to win has led to one of the most successful stints as Patriot leader in the school’s history.
One additional win in his inaugural campaign of 2011 (11-12) would have given him a goose egg in the losing-season column through his first seven years as South’s leader.
Not to mention a current string of six straight appearances at the Class AAA state tournament, which includes a trip to the championship game in 2015.
Player development and game experience over wins and losses has always been the staff’s approach. Victories come from experience, which leads to more victories and further player confidence.
Fallon’s ideals remained the name of the game as the Patriots recently completed their three-week period working with players.
South traveled to camps at Marshall, Morgantown, George Washington High School and in Ohio and Kentucky. There were nothing but good teams on the slate and South finished 4-25, but winning wasn’t the No. 1 goal.
“We wanted to get kids experience in ceratin spots and see what they can and can’t handle,” said Fallon. “We try to run some of our stuff but don’t get into too much detail since everyone isn’t there.
“I think they did okay. It is so hard to dictate in the summer with no time outs. But we got a look out how kids will do in our press and who can help us in the halfcourt.”
Participation was a mix of 10 kids during the period opened for all sports teams to work with student-athletes. Fans need not worry about numbers for the season, the Patriots won’t be lacking for players come the first official practice Nov. 15. The senior and junior classes have five or more players in them, plus the sophomore and freshman talent.
Two returnining starters and another contributer from last season’s team were among those in attendance. Seth Fallon, Brayden Mooney and Malakai Sylvia traveled with the team. All three having some things to work on to prepare for the upcoming year.
The younger Fallon, who was been the main facilitator for South the last few season, got a taste of what his role would be like next season with an emphasis on scoring. The Patriots said goodbye to top scorers Cole Plants (17.8 ppg) and Shane Snider (14.2 ppg).
“Seth has to totally change the way he plays,” said Mike. “He needs to be more offense oriented.”
He may have inadvertently started down his path last season. Fallon averaged 10 points per contest and wasn’t afraid to attack the rim when his team needed him to score.
Snider and Plants weren’t just scorers. They could also handle the basketball and take the pressure off Fallon in an effort to foil an opposition’s full-court press. Mooney and Sylvia both should step into those roles to make the Patriots a hard team to pressure again in the 2018-19 season.
“I was glad to get back out there,” said Mike. “It will be interesting to see who pushes themselves the next four to five months to get ready for the season.”