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PARKERSBURG — Scott Cozzens and the Parkersburg High girls basketball team are on a winning streak inside the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
After 18 years without a victory at the home of their rivals, the Big Reds won their second in a row after a 69-42 outcome over Parkersburg South Tuesday evening.
PHS used a 35-19 scoring advantage in the middle two periods to pull away from the Patriots. South missed 11 straight shots and Catreena Shears’ lone free throw conversion allowed the Big Reds to separate themselves in the first seven minutes of the second period.
“We just got a little bit of effort and just got back to doing what we do,” said Cozzens of the second period defensive effort. “Sometimes you let the moment get to you a little bit. A lot of energy and emotion out on the floor and once we settled down and got a little break at the end of the quarter we kind of caught our breath and settled down and been what we have been doing all year.”
Bre Wilson led the way with 19 points, Maddi Leggett tallied 12 and Aleea Crites poured in 11 as PHS improved to 8-5 on the season.
Makenna Winans led the Patriots in scoring with 20 points.
“Makenna is solid. She has kids hanging all over her and she wants the ball and she wants to play. We have a few girls like that on this team. Aubree White has stepped it up the last couple games and she earned herself a starting spot. She isn’t afraid and maybe we need a little shake up,” said South head coach Rick Dobson.
Supporting Winans, while displaying her fearlessness with another double-digit effort was Rylee Harner’s 12 markers.
The South duo scored all but two points in the opening quarter to save South from an early deficit.
PHS’s quick 8-2 lead evaporated to 12-9 at the end of the first eight minutes. Winans’ buckets inside earned her six points and Harner hit on the back end of two free throws.
Those shots were the last converted field goals for the Patriots though until Winans connected again on a duece with 1:10 left until halftime. Cozzens’ group then went man-to-man on the Patriots, the defensive effort also received a boost from the debut of 6-foot-5 transfer Tatiana Popa. Popa finished with three blocks and altered several inside shots.
Her presence contributed to the offensive cold streak.
Shears’ one point on a Crites shooting foul was the only tally. This brought her group within 15-10 before Wilson’s layup with 4:41 remaining started the charge. By the time Winans scored, the home team’s deficit had reached into double digits, 29-13.
The Big Reds lead never fell below 10 the rest of the evening.
South shot just 12 of 37 from the field, while the Big Reds hit 46% of their shots.
“I don’t want to blame any individual. It all comes down to I have to prepare them better for situations like this. I think as a coach I didn’t prepare them well enough to handle this situation. We worked on the press all the time and it still tore us up,” said Dobson.
South returns to action at Warren with a 7:30 p.m. Thursday, while PHS suits up against Capital at the same time.