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South boys invade PHS tonight

File photo Parkersburg South’s Seth Fallon is guarded by Parkersburg’s Kionte Peacock during a game last season. The Patriots will invade Memorial Fieldhouse tonight to take on the rival Big Reds.

PARKERSBURG — Wood County boys basketball rivals Parkersburg South and Parkersburg will meet this evening for the first time in the regular season inside Memorial Fieldhouse.

With each program just three games into the young campaign, the two squads have combined for just one victory. PHS is off to an 0-3 start while the Patriots, who lost both of their home holiday tournament contests, are coming in with a little momentum and a 1-2 record after blowing out host Brooke on Tuesday, 77-38.

“Those two games will pay dividends down the road,” South head coach Mike Fallon said of coming up short 72-68 to Blue Ridge (Va.) and 68-57 to Olentangy (Ohio). “It would’ve been nice to play those guys about four or five games into the season.

“But it was good. It kind of let us know where we are at and what we need to work on. I like this group. I think by the end of the year we can be as good as any group I think we’ve had.”

PHS head coach Jeff Mennillo feels the same way about his team. He felt that way in the preseason and still does following Thursday’s 77-50 setback to Musselman. The Big Reds started the campaign with road losses to Ohio opponents Warren (50-44) and Logan (72-43).

Despite trailing just 26-22 at intermission against the Applemen on Thursday, the second half was anything but vintage Big Red basketball.

“It’s all focused on us. It’s all geared toward fixing us,” Mennillo said of Friday’s practice. “The Logan team we played, they are really good and I thought we really defended well for a half. We opened up the first quarter (against Musselman) and defended really well and then it just stops.

“That’s what those guys did well last year. We have essentially four starters back and I would like to think we can guard people. The fact that we can’t guard people is both troubling and mystifying.”

Parkersburg enters the fray averaging less than 46 points per game. Versus MHS, Kionte Peacock and Braeden Mason finished with 13 points apiece, but fellow starters Jake Johnson, Jacob McKnight and Dylan Shaver combined for just nine points.

“That should’ve been a very winnable game and we didn’t defend, didn’t guard, didn’t seem to play with any sense of purpose,” Mennillo added. “There’s a lot of stuff we have to try and figure out and we don’t have a lot of time to do it.

“We couldn’t find a combination that worked. Our shot selection was terrible. I don’t know that I’ve ever had a team make more 3s (eight) than 2s (six) in a game. I don’t think that’s ever happened before.”

Seth Fallon (18), Malaki Sylvia (14) and Jake Dennis (12) each cracked double figures in the Patriots’ victory at Brooke. Also expected to be in the starting lineup for PSHS this evening are Alex Woolard and Brayden Mooney.

“We didn’t get Mooney back until the Tuesday before we started playing last week,” noted coach Fallon. “He’s still kind of in football mode. He tore his MCL and he was out four weeks there. I think once we get him back on full-go, I think we can even hit another stride and maybe do a little more things.

“Our effort has been really good in all of the games. We’re still kind of learning. Really, nothing has stressed me because I think they will find a way. They’re a good group. They like each other. They play well together. I like what we got.”

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