3rd-quarter explosion: Big Reds put up 32-point period in blowout win

Big Reds put up 32-point period in blowout win

Photo by Joe Albright Parkersburg High's Aleea Crites calls for the ball, while guarded by George Washington's Neveah Harmon during the Big Reds' 81-47 win over the Patriots Tuesday evening at PHS Fieldhouse. Crites put together a big game for the Big Reds with 13 points, four rebounds, five blocks and four steals

PARKERSBURG – George Washington played a solid half.

Parkersburg High School played an even better game.

Once the Big Reds clamped down on defense it was over here Wednesday evening inside PHS Memorial Fieldhouse.

Kalissa Lacy may have brought her team back from a 29-17 deficit with 16 of her 28 points in the second quarter, but all the Patriots’ offense dried up after halftime. GW shooters tallied just 16 points in the final 16 minutes.

“They hit some threes, outrebounded us, and had great defensive pressure in the full court and these are all things we just need to look at and find a better answer for. I don’t know if there is one, but that is what we are going to try to do,” said Jamie LeMasters, when asked about the second half and whose team may meet PHS for the Mountain State Athletic Conference title for the second-season in a row. PHS is locked in, but GW needs victories over Capital and Spring Valley.

Simultaneously, Scott Cozzens and company doubled their visitors scoring output in the third quarter alone in the 81-47 win in a battle of top-ranked teams.

“We just challenged them not to let Lacy do that again. Here we were game 2 at Wheeling Park and we let Woods go off and we should just see where we are. Get up on her and choke her and see if you can hold her down. We did a good job with their other kids and holding them down and we made them play,” said Cozzens, of the halftime speech and the defensive game plan.

Scoring came at a premium for the remainder of the Patriots’ roster. Vivian Ho’s nine points were the next highest total for fourth-ranked GW.

Six of those points helped the Patriots stay afloat in the first quarter. Trailing 6-2, her four points in 23 seconds stabilized a game on the verge of a run away. Her deuce following Lacy’s first points brought the score to 11 all with 2:50 remaining.

One knot which didn’t stay tied for long as Kristen Lowers kicked off a 10-1 run to end the first quarter. Bre Wilson’s first of four 3s, along with a Kisten Roberts’ triple spread the fun around for the Big Reds.

Four of Maddi Leggett’s 17 points then brought the score to 25-12. Lacy, finally warmed up, made sure PHS didn’t pull away again. Outside of Ho’s triple with 3:58 remaining until halftime, the senior scored every GW point. By the time the run was done, the home team’s lead sat at 35-31 headed into the locker room.

The outburst was one LeMasters has seen most of the season, and it left him impressed again.

“It is a really credit to her especially against this team, but obviously she needs a little help,” said LeMasters. “I also felt like I had some kids who didn’t want to put themselves in position to be put under their pressure and we will adjust.”

But without the adjustments after halftime, PHS expanded the lead for good in the third quarter. Wilson, Crites and Leggett powered the group during a 13-3 run in the final push. Crites tallied four of her 13 points, but her value wasn’t just in points. Her tallies of four rebounds, four steals and five blocks either tied or led the team.

“It is a shame she doesn’t get more recognition around the state then she does. She is one of the top five or six players in the whole state. If you look at her body of work, her and Maddi Leggett don’t get the credit they deserve. As good a game she had we really didn’t notice because that is the kind of game she has all the time. We just expect that out of Aleea Crites,” said Cozzens.

Leggett, Crites and the remainder of the starters sat out much of the final period. GW also pulled its starters as the benches scored 19 points combined in the final quarter.

The win improved PHS to 13-5 and could sit them at the top of Class AAA in the next Associated Press and coaches’ polls.

For now, the group is tied with Greenbrier East at number two. But the Big Reds won’t wait long for their next game, they travel to face Spring Valley at 1 p.m. tomorrow in the Little General Shootout at W.Va. State University.