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Big Reds’ girls basketball places three on All-MSAC teams

Photo by Joe Albright Parkersburg High hybrid forward Aleea Crites looks for an open teammate during a 2019-20 regular-season game. Crites and two of her classmates were honored on the top two All-MSAC teams as voted on by league coaches.

PARKERSBURG — Head coach Scott Cozzens and his Parkersburg High School girls’ basketball team’s run of MSAC dominance continued in the 2019-20 campaign. PHS polished off a third consecutive undefeated league season with a third straight conference championship after a 61-46 win over George Washington.

The 15-point margin of victory represented well the typical outcome of contests during the streak.

“This is the first year really we had a close game and it was on the road out South Charleston. All of the other wins have been by double figures. This group of seniors has led us on an incredible run. I don’t have any history of the MSAC, but it has to be right up there with one of the better runs of all time,” said Cozzens.

League coaches recognized this run as they voted three of the final year players on as members of the two all-conference teams.

Fairmont State-bound Bre Wilson and Rio Grande-bound Aleea Crites earned placement on the first squad. Point guard Maddie Leggett grabbed a second-team nod.

For Wilson, it was her fourth straight year on the top team. She led all scorers on the Big Reds with 12.8 points per game. This, however, was just a small part of her mpact.

“A lot of people don’t understand some of the leadership she brought to the team. She got better as the year went on. She was really good at doing what we needed her to do whether it be rebounding, defense, shooting the ball or whatever was needed that night,” said Cozzens.

One of the more less appreciated players in the state according to Cozzens, Crites made her debut on the top team. Her consistent approach provided the Big Reds with a threat in every phase of the game.

Including her second-place 11.6 points per game, Crites led in rebounds (141), dished out 35 assists, deflected 66 passes, grabbed 59 steals and blocked 46 shots.

“She finally got the attention of the league coaches. And she runs the floor better than any big in the state and it isn’t even close. She handled the ball well and shot it well this season,” said Cozzens.

Making sure both Wilson and Crites touched the ball in crucial moments was Leggett. No number reflects this better than her 88 assists. But, this alone didn’t define her final year on the court. Her scoring numbers exploding to a career-high 10.3 points per contest shouldered some of the scoring load away from her two classmates.

“There were times when she took it on herself to get in the scoring column and make big baskets when we needed really needed,” said Cozzens.

Kristen Lowers, special honorable mention, and Sierra Mason, honorable mention, tips of the hat rounded out the Big Reds’ honorees.

PHS wasn’t the only group with multiple players on the squad. League runner-up George Washington not only placed Kalissa Lacy and Lauren Harmison on the top team, but Lacy was named the player of the year after scoring 24.6 points per game.

Finishing off the first team were Woodrow Wilson’s Liz Cadle, South Charleston’s Myra Cuffee and Malika Witten, Cabell Midland’s Autumn Lewis, Riverside’s Jasmine Symms and Huntington’s Alexa Turner.

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