PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — George Washington snapped No. 1 Parkersburg South’s 16-game winning streak on Thursday night, beating the Patriots on the road 66-58 in a top five battle.

It was Parkersburg South’s first loss since December 20 to Teays Valley Christian and overall the first loss for the Patriots (18-2) to a WVSSAC member school.

George Washington (16-2), meanwhile, hasn’t lost since a January 9 setback to Beckley.

On Thursday, George Washington was led by Bunky Brown who finished with 19 points. It’s a GW team that has been on a roll since the return late last month of senior standout guard Justin Phillips to the lineup following a broken hand.

“I was able to come back a little bit earlier than expected – it was a 6-8 week injury and I came back in about four weeks,” Phillips said. “I had to stay positive (during the injury) and think bigger picture – that’s what I did.”

Both of George Washington’s losses this year have come while Phillips wasn’t in the lineup.

“Penetrating, getting into the lane and making things happen is probably the strength of my game,” Phillips said. “I’ve been looking more this year to create for my teammates, especially at the start of games, so I can keep the defense on their toes.”

With the win on Thursday over the top-ranked Patriots, George Washington has put together a strong resume for a potential No. 1 seed if it should advance back to the state tournament next month.

“This senior group has been playing together since middle school,” Phillips said. “The chemistry is there and Bunky (Brown) is my cousin – so we’ve been playing together since I was little as well. I think this is the team to do it.”

GW was fourth among Class AAA teams in the most recent MetroNews Power Index.

George Washington a year ago advanced to the state tournament, but fell to Morgantown in the quarterfinals.

With Phillips and Brown as a couple of core returning players, the Patriots entered this year as one of the early Class AAA title favorites — something they’ve lived up to so far, and certainly did so against Parkersburg South on Thursday night.

“We have a bad taste in our mouths from last year,” Phillips said. “So we want to get back (to the state touranment) and give a better showing.”

George Washington will have a rematch against Beckley on Saturday in the MSAC third-place game. Parkersburg South, meanwhile, will face No. 2 University on Saturday for the 5A OVAC championship.

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