PARKERSBURG - Regional bound. And the best thing about it for Parkersburg South's boys basketball team is it gets to play another tournament game at home Tuesday night with a trip to the state on the line.
That scenario came about as a result of top sectional seed South handling visiting third seed Wheeling Park, 60-46, in the Class AAA Region One, Section One championship game Friday night at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center.
South's inside duo of seniors Wes Mitchem and Logan Cox led the way for the victors with 22 and 18 points, respectively.
Wheeling Park’s Chalmer Moffett (33) and Andrew Kowalo (44), along with Parkersburg South’s Tyler Bolen (0) and Wes Mitchem (34), fight for control of a rebound during Friday’s game.
Additionally, they corralled 17 of their team's 28 rebounds-10 by Mitchem and seven from Cox. Doug Dennis added 12 points and Cody Monroe eight for No. 5-ranked South (20-4) which will play University at home in a Region I contest at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
For Park (11-13) it's also on to 7 p.m. regional play Tuesday, but on the road at Morgantown. Park was paced by Andrew Kowalo with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Ryan Reinbeau with 11 points and Luke Saseen with 10 points.
South took control in the second stanza against Park, outpointing the visitors 20-9 in the period, after a close opening quarter that ended 9-8 in Park's favor.
A Mitchem trey gave South its first lead of the game at 8-6 with 2:49 left in the first quarter, but Saseen sank a basket in the lane at 4.3 seconds to lift Park into its one-point edge at the end of the quarter.
South, though, started out the second period with steals by Mitchem and Cox for buckets to go ahead for good at 13-8 as Mitchem's was a three-point play. Then an 11-4 South spurt to finish the first half - keyed by Mitchem throwing a long scoring pass to Dennis on a break, a nifty spin move in the lane for a basket by Monroe and Cox's 3-ball from out front on the left with five seconds remaining - propelled the hosts out to a 10-point advantage, 28-18, at halftime.
The margin increased to 35-18 after just 2:15 of the third quarter before an 8-0 Park run narrowed the gap to 37-28. Mitchem halted the Park tide with a trey and South led 44-34 going to the fourth quarter.
And an 8-0 South burst to begin the final period expanded the lead to 52-34 with 6:14 to play, and Park never got any closer than nine again as South claimed its first sectional title in five years.