MORGANTOWN — The pace of Tuesday night’s game between the University High boys’ basketball team and Parkersburg South would make the 2017 NBA champion Golden State Warriors blush.
In a brisk 74-minute contest, both teams flexed their ability to move up and down the floor at a lightning pace while also filling up the basket from beyond the arc.
Both teams combined for 24 3-pointers, but it was the No. 2-rankeed Patriots who were able to work the ball inside, as well, especially late in a 100-85 road win over the Hawks.
Just a night after a close loss at Linsly, PSHS (9-2) was able to knock off the rust, and head coach Mike Fallon thinks the adversity the night before may have helped his team have a quick bounce-back performance.
“We didn’t play well at all and the kids know we didn’t play well,” he said. “We watched film this morning when we got to school. They knew what they needed to do and our kids adjusted.
“Give all the credit to our kids.”
Aiden Blake led the Patriots with 28 points, including seven 3-pointers. Jackson Smith accounted for PSHS’s other two made from beyond the arc.
But it was Nathan Plotner’s work on the inside that shifted the momentum late, scoring nine points in the second half. Cyrus Traugh, who was quiet in the first half with just three points, all from the free-throw line, ended up getting to the rim more in the final two quarters, scoring 14 points in the final 16 minutes.
“They did a really good job of getting downhill on us in the second half, but they had way too many second-chance points in the first half,” UHS coach Joe Schmidle said.
The Hawks (6-6) were down just five at halftime, but the Patriots had 11 offensive rebounds and turned those into points. Turnovers and missed layups were also a problem for UHS in the first half, which led to run-outs for PSHS.
The frantic pace is not what Schmidle wanted to do, but credited the Patriots for doing exactly what they wanted to do.
“We were wanting to dictate tempo a little bit, but that’s hard to do when you have opportunities for layups, miss and are on the press break every single time,” he said. “We just have to do better at finishing.”
The Hawks shot over 50% from the floor and scored 85 points, but still suffered a 15-point loss.
“That just tells you how good of a team Parkersburg South is.”
James Fortney-Garbart led UHS with 24 points, including four 3-pointers. He scored 22 of his total in the second half. Landon cool also made four from 3, finishing with 14 points, while Rafael Barcinas (12) and Carson Ford (11) also scored in double figures.
PSHS will host Wheeling Park on Friday night, while the Hawks will play at Linsly on Thursday.