PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Parkersurg South got hot at the right time a season ago, turning what was at one point a 9-10 record into a state tournament run.
Sectional wins over Ripley and Parkersburg, along with a region win over Hurricane, sent the Patriots back to Charleston as the No. 8 seed in Class AAA — a trip that was invaluable for this year’s now-veteran team.
“That was huge last year,” said Patriots’ coach Mike Fallon. “We struggled really early in the year. We went to George Washington later in the year and got a win – things just started to click after that.
“Getting to Charleston was a huge deal for these guys last year,” he continued. “That’s been our whole mindset this past summer. We love going (to the state tournament), but we don’t want to just go there. We want to come away with a state championship.”
Bobby Foggin led Parkersburg South last year as the team’s lone senior, averaging 15 points per game.
With four starters back, Cole Plants, Shane Snider and Seth Fallon have all been at the core of key leaders who returned this year.
Plants is averaging 18 points per game this season (shooting 53 percent from the floor), Snider 17 points and Fallon 10 points per contest.
Todd Burner and Braydon Mooney have molded into key roles as well.
“We have so many different guys who can score,” Fallon said. “They’ve gelled really well this year. Cole (Plants) is as good as anybody in the state of West Virginia – he’s quick, athletic and he can score. Shane (Snider) has played really well (of late) and he creates a mismatch for a lot of teams.”
That experience back has helped lead Parkersburg South (9-1) to a No. 1 ranking in the first two editions of the MetroNews Power Index.
The Patriots have picked up early wins over Musselman, Capital, Morgantown and Parkersburg twice.
“We toughened up our schedule overall and that’s a testament to our kids,” Fallon said. “I think for down the road (that tough schedule) will pay dividends for us.”
The usual up-tempo, high scoring Parkersburg South program has had to win with defense at times this season — in 7 of their first 9 games, the Patriots held opponents to 61 points or fewer.
“We’ve done such a good job defensively this year, but we’ve been kind of sluggish on the offensive end,” Fallon said. “We want to be up in the 80s, running up and down the floor. We haven’t shot the ball well yet – and in a weird way, we haven’t played well yet.”
Parkersburg South is aligned in sectional play with Parkersburg and Ripley — opposing sectional teams include Cabell Midland, Huntington, Hurricane and Spring Valley.
“I think our region is wide open – anyone can beat each other,” Fallon said. “It doesn’t matter who you play on the other side of the region, any of those teams are capable of winning.
“(The biggest thing for us) moving forward is growth and getting back to playing up and down the floor,” Fallon said. “A lot of our games have been half-court type games. When we get uptempo, we play so much better. We’ve got to get back to pushing the ball out more and playing defense with the same intensity.”
On Wednesday night, Parkersburg South will be tested again as the Patriots host unbeaten and No. 2 University.
2017-2018 Basketball Schedule
|1||12/15/17||6:30PM||A –||VS. MUSSELMAN AT WV STATE COLLEGE||85||–||61||W|
|2||12/19/17||8:00PM||H –||CAPITAL HIGH SCHOOL||76||–||73||W|
|3||12/20/17||8:00PM||H –||TEAYS VALLEY CHRISTIAN||65||–||76||L|
|5||12/27/17||7:30PM||A –||SPRING VALLEY||69||–||58||W|
|6||12/29/17||7:30PM||H –||CABELL MIDLAND||76||–||58||W|
|9||01/11/18||7:30PM||H –||BROOKE HIGH SCHOOL||79||–||53||W|
|10||01/19/18||7:30PM||A –||WARREN LOCAL,OH H.S.||57||–||50||W|
|12||01/26/18||7:30PM||A –||JOHN MARSHALL||–|
|13||01/30/18||7;30PM||H –||MEADOWBROOK, OH H.S.||–|
|14||02/02/18||7:30PM||H –||WHEELING PARK||–|
|15||02/03/18||7:30PM||H –||LOGAN,OH H.S.||–|
|16||02/07/18||5:00PM||A –||VS. HURRICANE AT WV STATE COLLEGE||–|
|18||02/10/18||7:30PM||A –||WHEELING PARK||–|
|19||02/13/18||TBAPM||H –||OVAC TOURNEY (TBA)||–|
|20||02/15/18||7;30PM||H –||GEORGE WASHINGTON||–|
|21||02/16/18||TBAPM||H –||OVAC CONSOLATION GAME (TBA||–|
|22||02/17/18||TBAPM||H –||OVAC CHAMPIONSHIP @ OU EASTERN||–|
|23||02/22/18||7:30PM||A –||WOODROW WILSON||–|
|wins: 9 lost: 1 ties: 0|