Dec 23, 2021
MARIETTA — The Parkersburg girls basketball team brushed up on its studies in Ball Movement 101 and kept the Marietta defenders at bay in a 64-47 win during Wednesday’s River City High School Classic on the campus of Marietta College.
Led by Brilynn Florence’s 16 points, four Big Reds scored in double figures and increased the team’s modest winning streak to two while improving to 3-3 overall.
Joining Florence in the scoring parade were Trinity Balog with 12 points, and 10 points apiece from Kisten Roberts and PHS reserve London Hood. Florence knocked down three 3-pointers and was named Outstanding Player for PHS.
“Our ball movement is working and our intensity is really high these past two games,” Florence said. “Running the fast break and paying the offense is really helping. And we are actually moving our feet on defense.
“We still have a lot of work to put in. We still have to learn how to run our offense right, move our feet and quit fouling. We have a lot to work on, but we will get there.”
For Marietta (6-6), Leigha Lauer was named the Tigers’ Outstanding Player after pouring in a game-high 17 points. Teammate Riley Medley supported the cause with another 15 points.
Marietta coach Allen Ruth tends to shy away from using ‘inexperience’ as an excuse, but against the Big Reds he watched his squad play tentative more than usual. And that’s not Maretta’s brand of basketball. Even with no seniors on varsity.
“I’ve always said we would never use our youth as an excuse, but today we played young,” Ruth said. “I thought we were hesitant a lot.”
For the better portion of the first half, PHS had its hands full with Marietta. The Tigers were playing toe-to-toe, especially after Lauer drained a 3-pointer at the 4:34 mark of the second quarter, which gave the Tigers their last lead of the game at 22-21.
“I thought we turned PHS over pretty good in the first quarter ,” Ruth said. “We didn’t capitalize on those turnovers like I thought we would. The girls have to learn it takes four quarters against good teams who are a little older than them.”
PHS coach Chris Murray could be heard telling his players “Shooter!” as Lauer received the ball in open space. Murray immediately called timeout after Lauer’s make, and out of the break his girls responded to his instructions by ripping off the final 13 points of the first half and building a 34-22 advantage.
During those final 4 1/2 minutes before intermission, Balog went on a stretch where she scored three straight buckets, including a 3-pointer. Hood capped the run with two straight field goals, including a putback just before time expired.
An impressive assist from Jacey McKnight to Lauer opened the second half scoring and subsided the momentum briefly before PHS began putting the game out of reach. Five different Big Reds contributed to a 12-2 spurt which left the Tigers trailing 46-26. The span lasted nearly 5 1/2 minutes as Marietta failed to score from the floor.
Marietta kept the fight and closed to within 14 points on several occasions.