Parkersburg Sentinal 2/29/04

Patriots overwhelm Morgantown, 73-51


PARKERSBURG - It was a rocking and rollicking good time for host Parkersburg South Saturday night at the Rod Oldham Athletic Center as the No. 10-ranked Patriots rolled over previously-undefeated Morgantown, the No.1 Class AAA team in the state, by a 22-point margin, 73-51.
South, the defending AAA state champion, was on its game right from the start and began to take control of the contest with 3:15 left in the opening period when Eric Baileys sank a trey from the left wing to ignite a 17-2 run that had to leave the soon-to-be not-undefeated-anymore Mohigans shaking their heads.

''Baileys hit two threes there and (Ryan) Dawson had one too there right in a row for us, and when we got on a roll, there was just nothing they (the Mohigans) could do,'' said South head coach Joe Crislip.

The three straight treys by South quickly turned a 7-6 lead into a 17-8 advantage that ballooned to 26-10 by the close of the first quarter as the Patriots continued their offensive assault.

''We got hot, got that big lead and they could just never catch up,'' said Crislip, whose team finished the regular season with eight wins in its last nine game to bring a 15-7 mark into the Class AAA sectional tournament game versus host Parkersburg High at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Memorial Fieldhouse.

But the Mohigans were not unbeaten for nothing, absorbed getting shredded by the Patriot buzzsaw in the first eight minutes and played South to a virtual standoff in the second stanza.

At halftime, with the Patriots up 38-20, two more state championship banners, representing those titles claimed by the 2003 South girls soccer and football teams, were unveiled in the rafters at Oldham to the cheers of the packed house in attendance.

A 6-0 run, capped by Trent McCallister's over-the-head pass to Ade Baruwa for a layup, to start the second half pushed the Patriots up by 24, 44-20. For the night, senior point guard McCallister recorded 16 assists in the game, just one shy of the single-game school record of 17, set by Turham Coleman in 1994.

The hot-shooting (51 percent) Patriots added three more treys in the third quarter and ended up with nine total, five by Baileys, who shared game scoring honors with Dawson with 19 points each.

Baruwa added 10 points and blocked two shots while Dawson grabbed eight rebounds and had four steals. South only committed nine turnovers to 16 for Morgantown, now 21-1, which got 12 points from Marlan Robinson and 11 from Chris Carey, son of WVU women's basketball coach Mike Carey.

The lead reached 25 in the fourth quarter, and with two minutes left, the South student section started chanting, ''Just like football,'' referring to the Patriots' win over the Mohigans in the Class AAA state football championship last December.

''It's tournament time and you want to be playing your best basketball right now, and I think we are,'' said Crislip. ''Hopefully, that'll carry over into the tournaments.''