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PARKERSBURG — A barrage of second-half scoring was largely the difference, as the Parkersburg South Patriots took this round of the crosstown showdown, 70-52 over the rival Parkersburg Big Reds on Friday night from the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
Malaki Sylvia led the way with 21 points, as he forced the issue early and often.
His physical play lended itself to the pace of this one, and nine points in the first quarter helped get the ball rolling.
After a bucket from PHS’s Julian Martin cut the South lead down to 13-11 with just a few minutes left in the opening stanza, Alex Woolard found Sylvia on the inside with two minutes left, and that was the final time the Big Reds were within one possession of the Patriots.
A one-handed jam in transition from Sylvia furthered the Patriot cause, and a coast-to-coast layup by Jake Hogsett pushed the lead to 19-12 as time was expiring. Sylvia attributed his performance to the atmosphere of the night, as he talked about what worked for the Southsiders.
“I think it’s just the PHS game,” Sylvia said as to what made this victory possible. “I mean, this rivalry always gives you a little bit more adrenaline than any other game would. I just think that for me, coming into a rivalry game puts a chip on my shoulder. I noticed they weren’t very big inside, so I took advantage of that.”
Although PHS never regained the lead after being up 9-7 in the first few minutes, they showed fight only down 35-23 at the break. Despite going the first 4:34 of the second without a basket, the red and white finally responded with makes from Chris Farson, Sam Potts, Noah Umpleby and Martin to remain in the contest.
It wasn’t until a 21-10 third quarter gave the Patriots a fair amount of breathing room, as Zach Seese took over. Eight of his 12 points came in the third, and he bullied his way through the paint to accomplish that feat. Dylan Day and Nathan Currey joined the earlier effort of Cam Marks to solidify the Patriot guard-play that helped haunt the Big Reds. The biggest lead of the evening came when Ashton Mooney sank a free throw to make it a 28-point advantage with 5:55 remaining. Everything clicked for the Patriots (3-1), according to head coach Brett Rector. He was glad to bounce back in a big way after dropping a close game to Fort Frye on Monday, and now, it’s all about how far this momentum can take South.
“It was great, and I told our guys that we had to start fast,” Rector said. “We got off to a good start, and we executed our game plan really well. I thought it was the best we’ve been in terms of getting the ball to the right guys in the right spots. (Fastbreak opportunities) start with our defense and rebounding, every night that’s what I preach to these guys. Hats off to our guys about handling adversity (after losing the Fort Frye game). They’re probably tired of hearing about it four games in, but you want to talk about bouncing back? Beating PHS on Friday and then Spring Valley the next night (at 7:30) on the road, that’s bouncing back.”
The loss drops head coach Bryan Crislip’s Big Reds to 2-3, as they look to have a bouncing back point of their own. Potts was aggressive in going after the ball and scoring, and his 17 points led all Big Red scorers. That hard-nosed style of basketball is what Crislip wants out of Potts, as the offense can flow through his production. They have a 7:30 p.m. tip next Friday from the Memorial Fieldhouse against Woodrow Wilson, as the young group looks to find its way.
“This is a rivalry game, and our big thing is to learn and to find things we did well in order to build on those. Things that we didn’t do so well, let’s learn from it and get better at that,” Crislip said. “We’ve just got to take our scouting reports and the things we work on all week long and be able to translate that from practice to the games. That’s just a matter of time, as the kids get older.”
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