PHS, South girls’ hoops meet for Round 2

Big Reds won the first meeting back on Dec. 21

Photo by Joe Albright Parkersburg’s Maddi Leggett and Parkersburg South’s Skylar Bosley dive for a loose ball during the first matchup between the Big Reds and Patriots.

PARKERSBURG — The regular season returns to normal for Parkersburg and Parkersburg South girls’ basketball teams after their meeting today inside PHS Memorial Fieldhouse.

The final contest between the rivals before a possible meeting in sectional play tips off at 7:30 p.m.

Scott Cozzens’ Big Reds (8-1) captured the first game inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center, 64-61, thanks to Maddi Leggett’s five points over the final 1:27. Those markers offset five of the Patriots’ 11 free-throw makes in the period.

The victory came without injured standout forwards Bre Wilson and Madi Mace. Wilson has since returned to the court scoring in double-digits two of her three games. She is probable against the Patriots despite missing one practice since a 17-point loss to Huntington St. Joe Friday at home.

Though she has made great progress in recovery, Mace is still listed as doubtful.

Wilson’s addition adds plenty of firepower to the Big Reds’ arsenal.

“If she comes in she gives us a lot more offense then the last time we played South,” said Cozzens. “She is someone on the perimeter who is another big, long rebounder and defender. More than anything she is just a calming presence for the other girls on the floor.”

If Wilson doesn’t play Cozzens highlighted what he hopes to see from the rest of the girls on the floor.

“It was the same thing we saw on film against St. Joe,” said Cozzens. “We didn’t give great effort. There was a lot of standing around and we didn’t play with the energy with need to play with on either end of the floor. If we can fix that and just play hard along with rebounding we are going to be okay.”

Ed Davis’ crew (5-5), meanwhile, continued to put the new pieces together during the opening match up. Pieces fitting snugger as the Patriots are 2-1 since the first meeting. A two-point loss to Wyoming East being the only blemish on the schedule.

“I think we are heading in the right direction after a difficult start,” said Davis. “The last seven games we have been able to put together some periods of pretty good basketball though we still have some things we can improve on.”

Makenna Winans and Sierra Hays have been the catalysts behind the stabilization. Winans has blossomed into a true post threat in her junior season. She leads the Patriots in scoring with 14.9 markers per outing. Her 25-point effort against East was a season-high.

Hays isn’t far behind with 13.8 points per game. She scored 19 against the Big Reds in December. Erin Williams is the only other player averaging double-digits with 10.8 a contest.

Davis would love to see these numbers along with Kenzie Johnson’s bakers-dozen effort against PHS. Staying consistent is how his team can leave the Fieldhouse with the W. The ever-dreaded offensive run from the home team can happen in a matter of seconds. Leaving the Patriots in a big hole.

“One of the things we have to do is convert when we have the chances,” he said. “When we are able to get past their pressure and get to the basket or around the basket and have an open look we need to take advantage of that. Plus that allows us to set our defense and find them in transition a little better, which they do a good job of moving the ball in too.”