Patriots fall to Wheeling Park, 74-55
PARKERSBURG –When it mattered most, Class AAAA’s No. 3 Wheeling Park Patriots showed why that ranking mattered. However, Parkersburg South did its best to make the visitors as uncomfortable as possible during Tuesday night’s 74-55 WP victory from the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
Parkersburg South came out energized by the opportunity to avenge its 76-32 season-opening loss to Park, and it showed. Only down 14-9 at the end of the first, Skylar Bosley (who paced her team with 14 points on the night) led an early attack.
She recorded a pair of consecutive makes with assists from Rylee Harner to tie the ballgame at 7 apiece. However, Park (13-2) had firepower of its own with the trio of Lindsey Garrison, Jai’lah Walker and Asia Roby. Those three led the visiting Pats on a mini-run toward the end of the opening frame to create some distance.
Garrison was lethal from beyond the arc, as she buried seven triples en route to dropping 36 points. Before her big night really got started, things turned sour for an already bruised Wheeling Park squad.
With the score at 16-11, Walker worked her way into the paint for a rebound and re-aggravated a previous ankle injury that caused her to leave the game with 6:52 left in the first half. She did not return. Her size down low is an ideal answer to the loss of Bella Abernathy, who is out for the remainder of the season with a broken hand.
After the stoppage of play, that’s when Park went on a run to go up 40-21 at the break. It was Garrison who fueled the affair, as she managed 13 points throughout the remainder of the second. Merrit Delk, Abraham, and Roby all pitched in during the South drought.
Parkersburg South’s last chance to get back in the game was one they initially took advantage of, and it was helped with opportune scoring from Bosley, Brooke Sandy, Hannah Wingrove and Carrie Rhodes.
Rhodes’ makes capped off a South effort which saw the squad only down 12 near the end of the third. Rhodes knocked down a pair of free throws, and then worked her way inside on the ensuing South possession. A make off a feed from Bosley got the South bench up on its feet with 2:24 remaining in the third.
Park soon woke up and pulled away in the fourth to get the job done, though. Winning the quarter and ballooning the lead. Park took care of business in the regular season finale. WP head coach Ryan Young talked about his team’s effort in the victory.
“(Garrison) shot the ball well. We needed her to, and we need people to pick up the offense with Abernathy still out and with Jai’lah Walker going out earlier in the game,” he said. “Hopefully, she’s going to be OK. We’ll check on her. I think with our full roster, we stack up well against anybody. I’m sure of that. I’m confident with the kids we have, that we can compete against anybody. I think that shows our mentality. We played 9-10 kids, and we didn’t have much of a drop-off.’
South head coach Rick Dobson spoke of his team’s struggles around the rim, as he said the inability to finish is what hurt them the most in this setback.
“If we shoot as well as they shot, we’re in the ballgame,” Dobson said of his 6-6 Patriots. “Our effort is unbelievable. We get on the floor and do a lot of things, but we struggle too with doing the basic things, like closing out, boxing out, pump-faking. That’s where we struggle. They know they can play with anybody, and we’re going to prepare for next week. We’ve got one game left against John Marshall (4 p.m. on Thursday at home), and we’re just going to focus on those basic things.”
Contact Josh Hughes at firstname.lastname@example.org