PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Class AAA defending state champion and No. 1 Huntington opened up its season Friday night with a 74-47 road win over Parkersburg.

The Highlanders were led by senior Mikal Dawson who scored 25 points in the win.

“I thought we played really well for our first game,” said Huntington coach Ron Hess. “We haven’t had the football players for that long, so we weren’t sure how well we were going to gel. But I liked our intensity and we definitely played team ball offensively and defensively.”

Senior Jadon Hayes added nine points and a handful of steals defensively.

Garrett Cullen,

Huntington senior Jadon Hayes scored nine points in the Highlanders’ win over Parkersburg.

“Mikal (Dawson) and Jadon (Hayes) are our leaders out there on the floor,” Hess said. “They have to be able to understand what offense we want to get into and where we need to get people the ball. Jadon is really good at getting people the ball in the right places when he needs to.

“(Hayes) is so quick – he has great feet, great hands and he can get some steals,” he continued. “When we can get some easy baskets like that, it really makes it easy for us.”

6-foot-4 freshman Amare Smith added 11 points for Huntington, while Kris Brown scored 10 points in the win.

Huntington (1-0) overall has won three out of the last four state championships in Class AAA.

Parkersburg (2-2) was led by Brenton Strange who scored 18 points and Parker Miller who added 13 points in the loss.

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