Wheeling Park Rolls Past University, 62-48
Patriots start third quarter on 8-0 run en route to solid victory
WHEELING — The message was clear in the Wheeling Park locker room at halftime: extend the lead in the second half or let University keep chipping away. The Patriots took the first option as they scored the first eight points of the second half and went on to defeat the Hawks, 62-48 at Wheeling Park High School on Tuesday night.
“They’re a pesky team and are always well coached,” Wheeling Park coach Ryan Young said about University. “If you don’t come out in the second half and build onto your lead, they will no go away as we learned down at their place. That was definitely an emphasis and the kids came out, went on an 8-0 run and, at that point, they never got back into the game after that.”
A key contributor that resulted in the 8-0 spurt to start the third quarter was the Patriots’ defense. Wheeling Park’s press pressured the Hawks and forced a couple of turnovers that turned into quick points.
With the score at 32-26, a Laurel Robb bucket started the run just 23 seconds into the second half. Emily Pavlic followed Robb with her third basket of the game to give Wheeling Park its first double-digit lead of the game as the score read 36-26. Pavlic ended the run with another bucket to put the score at 40-26.
“We’re still trying to figure out what’s the most effective for us,” Young said about his defense. “It’s not too late to figure out what its what we want to do when it gets to tournament time. We’re going to continue to experiment and see what’s strongest for us and hopefully we figure it out and just continue to build off of it.”
Three Patriots scored in double figures as Robb led the way with a team-high 17 points. Pavlic was solid with 10 points while Shaney Woods came off the bench and netted 10.
Zoe Murphy had a game-high 23 points for University while Ashten Boggs netted 10.
“I think with any kind of pressure team, you got to protect the ball and not let them speed you up faster than you want to go,” University coach David Price said, “When you do that, you get opportunities down here and make baskets. I think we gave too many extra opportunities not only rebounding but also steals on the full court press.”
Wheeling Park never trailed in the game and was able to start the game off quick as well. With 6:27 to go in the first quarter, the Patriots went on a small 7-0 spurt over 90 seconds to put the score at 10-2. The Hawks were able to get the score within one possession, but Wheeling Park scored the final four points of the frame including an Abby Jones buzzer beat to put the score at 18-12.
“They (University) have two excellent players in Boggs and Murphy,” Young said. “They’re a younger team and they’re going to give somebody all they can handle in the other section. But I’m happy, overall. We needed to win for OVAC. We’re on the border. It looks like it’s between us, Parkersburg South and Morgantown. One of us is going to be out and we all three have tough weeks and it’s going to be a grind. You’re talking about three teams that are pretty evenly matched and unfortunately one of us is probably going to be out.”