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PARKERSBURG — In front of a near capacity crowd Saturday night inside Parkersburg’s Memorial Fieldhouse, Cam Marks finished with a triple-double, Malaki Sylvia was a monster inside and No. 8 Parkersburg South never trailed in an 81-73 victory versus the Big Reds.
The 7-4 Patriots of first-year head man Brett Rector, who play Thursday at current No. 4 Wheeling Park, scored the first six points of the game, led 15-2 and never allowed the Big Reds to get closer than four points the rest of the night.
“It was a great win,” said Patriot senior Cam Marks, who had 10 points to go along with game-highs of 10 rebounds, 11 assists, five steals and two blocks.
“I think the whole team played well. We had our guys on the bench come in and they played their butts off.
“They didn’t care what the atmosphere was like. They just wanted us to get the win. Malaki, he was just a beast inside so we couldn’t have done it without him.”
Sylvia, who flushed a dunk after getting a feed from Marks and filling the lane for a 10-2 advantage, finished with a game-high 28 points and added nine caroms.
“Really proud of our kids’ composure in a tough rivalry game,” stated Rector, whose squad won the first battle in late December, 70-52. “We were able to execute down the stretch in a tough environment. The seniors stepped up and made big plays.
“Marks had a triple-double and Malaki finished really well around the rim. Felt like we really needed that one to get back on track after dropping the University game (on Tuesday).”
PHS, led by first-year head coach Bryan Crislip, faced its largest deficit at 29-15 early in the second when reserve Ashton Mooney scored for part of his baker’s dozen counters. However, the red and white used a 12-2 spurt to make it 31-27. Bryson Singer, who had 10 points and eight rebounds, tallied six of his markers in the run while Sam Potts had four of his 15 points in the same span. Julian Martin’s spinning baseline shot rattled in to make it 33-29 after Patriot Jake Hogsett’s two foul shots had previously made it a six-point difference. Zach Seese’s lay-in from a Jeff Tucker assist gave the visitors a 35-29 halftime lead.
The Big Reds, who dropped to 6-8 and play Wednesday at No. 1 Cabell Midland, got a 3 from Josh Kopec at 7:07 of the third to make it 37-32, but South’s Nathan Currey drained treys 18 ticks apart to push the advantage back to nine. PSHS still led 49-41 midway through the third following a Dylan Day triple and the red and white faced a 58-47 deficit entering the fourth.
Parkersburg South had a 70-59 cushion after a Sylvia made free throw with 3:23 to play, but Singer got an offensive rebound and turned it into a three-point play. Potts then followed with a 3 after Big Red point guard Aiden Vega took a charge on Seese. Potts then drove into the lane and split two defenders on the next Big Red possession, but dropped to the floor and lost the ball.
PHS continued to fight and it was 76-71 after Noah Umpleby, who finished with 21 points, got a putback with 30 seconds remaining. Two foul shots by Umpleby with 12.7 on the clock made it a four-point tilt for the final time at 77-73. Mooney and Currey iced the game with two made charity stripe tosses apiece.
“I thought the boys competed hard. Need to tighten up a few things offensively and defensively,” admitted coach Crislip, who got 12 points from Carson Dennis and seven by Kopec.
“But, I was pleased with our kids’ fight. Give South a ton of credit. They made a ton of big plays when we were making runs.”
Currey also finished in double figures with 11 points, Day had eight and Seese seven.
The contest was a Coaches versus Cancer game for children. Also, prior to tip, Heather Skinner Rockhold, Barry Louden and Mike Hayden were recognized as the 2020 PHS Hall of Fame class.
Contact Jay Bennett at email@example.com