Powerful Patriots

South pulls away from Monarchs

Photo by Josh Hughes Parkersburg South’s Brayden Mooney (32) goes up for a layup as teammate Malaki Sylvia (0) looks on during a high school boys basketball game against John Marshall Friday at Rod Oldham Athletic Center. South won, 76-57.

PARKERSBURG — On an emotional Friday night inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center, the Parkersburg south Patriots took care of the John Marshall Monarchs, 76-57.

The game was played in honor of Parkersburg South student Hailley Parsons, who was honored in front of the capacity crowd before the game. Parsons has been battling a brain tumor that caused her to lose sight in one of her eyes, and for a special night, all eyes were on her.

When the game began, the Patriots came with defensive intensity that matched the energy of the crowd. The Patriots forced nine turnovers in the first eight minutes of action, en route to a 26-16 lead at the end of the first. Brayden Mooney asserted himself in the frame, as over half of his game-high 21 came in that limited amount of action.

“He (Mooney) played unbelievably,” South coach Mike Fallon said of his big man’s performance. “He played great on the defensive end, and this is the performance we’ve been waiting on. He was hurt at the end of football season, so I think he just finally getting back into that mode and everything. I’m really proud of him tonight.”

Business as usual for the Patriots (5-6) continued, as the Monarchs (5-9) missed their first five shots of the second quarter. They finally ended a drought that spanned half the quarter with a basket from Devin Norris. The Monarchs took a timeout with 3:41 left in the half and came out swinging, as they closed the half on a 7-2 run. The John Marshall run spilled over into the third quarter, as baskets from Bryce Yoho and Tyler Sadoski trimmed the lead down to 40-32. The 12-2 run quieted the ROAC crowd, but coach Fallon’s team weathered the storm.

“It was one of those things that, you know, we’ve done that the whole year,” Fallon said of the scoring drought. “We’ve went through spurts where we don’t score. We kind of go out on our own and do our own things. That was one of the things we talked to them about at halftime. Those are the parts of the game we need to work on. We need to put a full game together.”

That drought finally ended with 4:20 remaining in the quarter with a much-needed Jake Dennis 3-ball off an assist from Seth Fallon. The crowd’s eruption foreshadowed what would happen to the South offense, as an Alex Woolard bucket and a thunderous Malaki Sylvia dunk helped stretch the Patriot lead out once more. When it was all said and done, South flexed its muscle with an 18-4 run to close out quarter number 3.

More of the same happened in the fourth, as the Patriots closed out on a high note on a night that meant more to coach Fallon than just getting the win.

“Hailley (Parsons) is one of those kids that has been a huge influence, and she has changed me as a person, and hopefully, that’s something we can instill in our kids,” Fallon remarked. “When things are tough, there’s always someone out there who’s struggling and fighting, and that’s the way you have to approach life.”