10:06am: Talkline with Hoppy Kercheval

Philip Barbour locks down on Elkins to earn 10th victory, 56-38

PHILIPPI, W.Va. — Philip Barbour executed at a high level offensively Friday for much of its matchup against Elkins.

When the Colts picked up their defensive play, it allowed them to pull away from the Tigers for a comfortable 56-38 victory.

While Philip Barbour scored at least 12 points in every quarter, the Colts limited Elkins to 13 second-half points, enabling the home team to control the contest down the stretch.

“We didn’t change a lot,” Colts’ head coach Rick Mouser said. “We went to a 3-2 [zone] a few possessions in the second half, but we pretty much went man. They have a couple shooters and you have to know where they’re at. In the second half, we did a better job of getting a hand up and not letting them stand still with a wide open view of the basket.”

Elkins (9-9) made only 4-of-22 field-goal attempts over the final two quarters after hitting 9-of-19 shots in the opening half.

“We have to be more consistent on offense,” Tigers’ head coach Matt Davis said. “Defensively, we’re pretty consistent. There were a few breakdowns, but most times we were pretty consistent on the defensive end. We don’t have a lot of size, so when we can’t shoot it well, and then we’re trying to run with more pace, they’re also getting quicker shots, plus they’re getting second and third chances.”

Both teams were strong offensively in the first quarter. The Colts (10-6) hit 5-of-8 shots and the Tigers connected on 6 of 12, as the teams battled to a 14-all tie with neither squad ever ahead by more than three.

That changed quickly into the second when PBHS rattled off the first six points courtesy of layups from Mattie Marsh and Arrington Sparks and Mackenna Halfin’s follow-up.

Moments later, an Averi Carpenter 3-pointer gave the Colts. 23-16 advantage, and it would grow to 12 when Braylon Sparks scored in transition and from behind the arc.

Another follow-up from Halfin made it a 14-point margin, before a Celia Ricottilli triple started the Tigers’ 9-2 half-ending surge. It featured four points, including a triple, from Autumn Lane, as well as Gracelin Corley’s layup off a steal that sent EHS into halftime trailing 32-25.

“We have to shore up our play at the end of quarters,” Mouser said.

Arrington Sparks scored the first four points of the second half, though Corley responded with four straight to keep the deficit at seven.

Starting with Carpenter’s layup in response, PBHS outscored EHS 8-2 over the remainder of the third quarter, using an Arrington Sparks runner to lead 44-31 entering the finale frame.

Corley scored the first three points of the fourth to make it a 10-point game, but the Tigers never got the deficit inside double digits down the stretch.

Instead, Carpenter’s short jumper with 4:55 remaining gave the Colts a 48-36 lead, and Elkins was held without a field goal the rest of the way.

The Colts made 23-of-46 field-goal attempts to shoot 50 percent. Braylyn Sparks led four PBHS double-figure scorers with 16 points, while Arrington Sparks added 14.

“When we move the ball, work it around and make hard cuts, we’re pretty good,” Mouser said. “We hit some open shots and that always helps. Transition baskets help a lot.” 

Carpenter and Halfin scored 10 apiece and Halfin recorded 15 rebounds to key the Colts’ 36-23 advantage on the boards.

“Mackenna always rebounds,” Mouser said, “and she knows that’s why she’s out there.”

Corley led all players with 19 points and scored all but for of Elkins’ points in the second half.

Ricottilli added 10 points in defeat. 

“A lot of offensive rebounds in the second half,” Davis said. “We negated some of that in the first half, but in the second half they got more.”

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