No. 1 South Rolls Past Park

PARKERSBURG – Sophomore center Anna Hayton scored a career-high 32 points and host Parkersburg South overcame “a somewhat slow start” to pelt Wheeling Park 90-50 on Friday night and move another step closer to returning to the state tournament to defend its Class AAA girls basketball championship.

The victory, the 22nd of the season, for undefeated and top-ranked South in the Region One, Section One tilt at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center puts the host Patriots within one more victory of another trip to the state tournament. That opportunity comes at 7 p.m. Tuesday at home against University, which lost to Morgantown, 36-35, on Friday night.

South was up only 13-6 with 2:25 to play in the first quarter, when Keya Bartlett hit two straight 3-pointers and Hayton tallied inside with 3.3 seconds left to lift the Patriots into a 21-10 lead after one period of play.

The second period saw South get its offense into high gear with 25 points to increase its lead to 46-20 at the half.

Hayton scored 10 points in the period to pace the Patriot offensive attack.

In the third quarter, South continued piling up the points while throttling Park with its tenacious defense. In fact, after Park scored the initial four points of the second half, South ran off 27 of the next 29 to end the third period and lead 73-26.

In the 27-2 South third-quarter run, Hayton notched 16 points on eight baskets to complete her evening’s work with 15 hoops and 2-of-2 at the foul line.

South had as much as a 49-point lead, 75-26, early in the fourth quarter.

After Hayton for South, Bartlett had 18 points, but all 13 girls who played in the game for the Patriots scored.

Kambrea O’Neal led Park (9-12) with 17 points and Kendra Johnson added 16.

“We did start out a little slow,” South coach Scott Stephens said. “We did have a big first quarter, but the first couple minutes of the ball game wasn’t what we wanted. But we played great defense, put a lot of pressure on the ball and limited them. We didn’t give them a whole lot of second looks with too many offensive rebounds. I thought we rebounded well tonight, and once we got it (the offense) going, it was going pretty good. But the pressure was the key.”