Class AAA Girls: Patriots Simply Do What They Do

WHEELING – Before his team’s sectional matchup with Wheeling Park, Parkersburg coach Kenny DeMoss had all the confidence in the world.

He knew everything Park would come at the Big Reds with and had a detailed gameplan he went over all week.

When the two teams met on the court, however, it was a different story.

The Patriots outscored Parkersburg 30-17 in the second half en route to a 61-42 victory in a Class AAA Region One, Section One matchup at Wheeling Park.

Park will travel to face No. 1-ranked and undefeated Parkersburg South on Friday.

”Everything they did, we knew they were going to do,” DeMoss said. ”Jumping the rebounds or press or their 1-3-1 or their 1-2-2 … the only thing we didn’t see them do was run their flex offense.

”We were prepared, we just didn’t execute. It’s like going into a gun fight and knowing the guy across from you is going to shoot you, but you don’t pull your gun out.”

Following two Kameron Snyder makes at the foul line, the Patriots (9-9) used a 16-3 run to start the game and led 16-5 after a Kambrea O’Neal layup.

”She’s quick,” Park coach Dee Davis said of the senior. ”Usually when she doesn’t score it’s because she beats herself. The last three games she’s played well for us.”

It seemed every Park player had a certain quickness to them as they were all over the Big Reds (8-15) right from the start, coming up with steals and forcing turnovers.

”I think we made them speed up and they don’t like to play a fast game,” Davis said. ”Their guards are more right-handed than left, so we tried to force them left and that’s how we got most of our steals.”

Chloe Robb hit consecutive 3-pointers to extend the lead to 24-12 at the start of the second, but after a Snyder layup, Susanne Oplinger connected on two free throws to end the half as Parkersburg went into halftime with a six-point deficit at 31-25.

Snyder hit a 3 to start the third and cut the deficit to 31-28, but Skylar Carrington answered with a 3 of her own to spark a 10-0 Park run.

Brooke Kurucz stopped the bleeding with a 3 to get the Big Reds back within single digits at 46-37 midway through the third.

Kendra Johnson, who had been struggling in the paint, then hit a layup to restore Park’s double-digit lead.

”She had a wide-open shot to the back of the basket and she’s making moves,” Davis said of Johnson. ”I don’t know what she’s making moves to. There’s no one there to make a move on. Just turnaround and pop it. That’s how she usually plays. She was just trying too hard I think, so I had to settle her down and tell her to play her game.”

Park held a 50-39 advantage after three and outscored Parkersburg 11-3 to end the game.

”We were very prepared for this team,” DeMoss said. ”There wasn’t one single thing they did that we weren’t prepared for. Bottom line is we didn’t go out and execute.”

Carrington led Park with 12 points and O’Neal added 11 on 5 of 8 shooting. Robb and Tamara Bumgardner had nine points each, while Kelsi and Kendra Johnson finished with eight apiece.

Kurucz finished with a game-high 16 points to lead the Big Reds, while Snyder added 10.