Cold shooting night dooms Patriots

Cold shooting night dooms Patriots

Photo by Jordan Holland Parkersburg South’s Alex Woolard (20) posts up against Martinsburg’s Telryn Villa (12).

CHARLESTON — Parkersburg South couldn’t stop the bleeding in the third quarter.

Facing a tough challenge in top-seeded, unbeaten Martinsburg in Wednesday’s Class AAA state quarterfinals, the Patriots (8-17) matched the Bulldogs (26-0) basket for basket for most of the first half. A 20-0 run by Martinsburg in the second half ended any thoughts of an upset, as the ‘Dogs went on to win 69-48 to advance to Friday’s semifinals.

“They’re number one for a reason,” said South head coach Mike Fallon. “I thought we played well in the first half. What got us was, I believe we scored five points in the second quarter and four in the third and you just can’t do that against a good basketball team like that. Give them all the credit in the world. Defensively, they’re as good as anybody we’ve seen this year.”

The Patriots trailed just 36-29 at the 5:45 mark of the third quarter, but went scoreless until Brayden Mooney’s 3-pointer at 7:25 of the fourth quarter. By then, Martinsburg had stretched its lead from seven to 27 and taken full control of the contest.

“I think defensively they turned it up and got after us a little bit,” coach Fallon said. “I thought we did a good job in the first quarter of keeping the floor spread. Then in the second we tried some handoffs and ball-screens and it was a steal every time we did it. I thought that we quit putting them on their heels.”

The eighth-seeded Patriots may have seemed overmatched on paper coming into the game, but they showed they belonged early.

Trailing 7-2 early on, South scored 10 straight points, six coming on back-to-back treys by Seth Fallon, to take a 12-7 advantage. There were five lead changes in the first quarter, which ended with South on top 20-17. A pair of jumpers by Mooney had the Patriots up 24-23 with 3:19 to go until halftime, but Martinsburg ended the half on an 8-1 run to take a 31-25 cushion into halftime.

Upset-minded coming out of the locker room, Parkersburg South was outscored 23-4 in the third period.

The Patriots outscored the Bulldogs 19-15 in the final quarter, trimming the deficit to 15 with 4:40 remaining, but ultimately fell short.

“Mike does a wonderful job,” said Martinsburg head coach Dave Rogers. “Parkersburg South is rich in basketball tradition. You know when they come down here, and I don’t care if they’re the eight (seed) or we’re the eight, it’s going to be a basketball game because you’ve got programs that go after each other.”

The Bulldogs outshot (55 percent to 29 percent) and outrebounded (41-31) the Patriots. Qualeke Bush led Martinsburg with 15 points. Teddy Marshall and Trey Segar added 10 apiece, Joe Bokey scored eight and Grant Harman and Anthony Smith netted seven each. Segar also grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds for a double-double. Marshall and Harman both dished out four assists.

For South, Seth Fallon led the way in scoring with 15 points. Mooney added 13 and Malaki Sylvia netted 12. Mooney hauled in a team-high nine boards while Fallon tallied three dimes.