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PARKERSBURG — It was a tightly contested four quarters between the Wheeling Park Patriots and Parkersburg South Patriots for South’s first game Saturday afternoon inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
Clinging to a four-point lead going into the final period of play, Park missed just two shots from the field during the fourth quarter to pull away for the 61-52 win. Handing South its second loss on the season.
PSHS was led by two double-digit scorers on the afternoon as senior Makenna Winans poured in a team-high 18 points, along with fellow senior Erin Williams chipping in with 14 points. The two seniors gave the visiting Patriots (2-0) fits from both the paint, outside the wing and on the defensive side of the ball.
Williams especially drilling three from deep, having three steals and Winans disrupting Park shots all afternoon, racking up five blocks to go along with six rebounds.
“I told the girls we got to focus on the bigger picture. Yeah, we want to have fun and but we need to get a win because that’s going to make it fun even more,” South head coach Rick Dobson said. “They are working hard and I’m very proud of them. They just keep working harder every day, we’re going to get better. We played two quality teams to start out with and we got beat by one in the first. We played well right down to the last three minutes. I got to make some adjustments and we got to get better shooting.”
With the score at 40-36, South’s sophomore guard Skylar Bosley made it a one-possession game when she stole the ball near center court and took straight to the rim with just one minute played in the final period of play.
Park however answered right back with two straight 3-pointers by Shanley Woods and one by Lindsey Garrison to extend the lead by eight points.
With momentum appearing to go in favor of the visitors, South once again turned defense into offense, when Williams was applying heavy pressure on Park’s Asia Roby as soon as she received the inbound pass.
Knocking the ball loose near the scorers’ table at the halfcourt line, Williams picked the ball up and then raced to the basket fighting off a Park defender going up strong to make the layup while getting fouled. Williams converted on the three-point play cutting the lead to four points.
“We want to pressure, we want people to make mistakes, we want to force them into mistakes,” Dobson said. “That’s what our defense is about, getting up in their grill and making them make mistakes. They are not sitting back there, they are getting up there and working hard. I’m very proud of them.”
That was the closet South would get as Park took advantage of being in the double bouns, by picking up seven points from the charity stripe. A 3-pointer by junior Rylee Harner and lay-in by Winans in the final minute was a little too late for a South comeback.
In the first quarter, Wheeling Park got the first points of the game when post player Bella Abernathy took Winans to the left side of the paint going up strong for the bucket at the 7:31 mark. Park’s Abby Snedeker drilled a 3 off an assist from Woods before South finally got on the board when Winans returned to the favor on Abernathy, taking her to the rim for two points.
Park’s Garrison and South’s Williams each traded 3s as both teams couldn’t get away from each at all as Park took a one-point lead after playing one.
South took its first and only lead in the afternoon when Hannah Wingrove went a perfect two for two at the charity stripe at the 7:38 mark but South gave the lead right back on a 3 by Garrison.
After getting a rebound on the defensive side of the ball, Wingrove turned on the jets and sprinted down the right side of the floor for the coast-to-coast lay-in.
Wingrove contributed with six points and the duo of Harner and Bosley had five points apiece. Harner crashed the boards all game long and came away with a South high eight boards and Bosley feed teammates all day with three assists.
Wheeling Park’s Garrison was deadly from deep, making five from beyond the arc and going five for six for a game-high of 20 points. Woods had 17 points and was only one off from matching Garrison from behind the arc, drilling four 3s of her own. Roby was the third double-figure score for Park with 11 points and Kieran Johnson had a game-high 10 boards.
Up next for the Patriots will be a road game versus Fort Frye on Monday.
Contact Tyler Bennett at email@example.com.