Huntington opened up a 16-point lead in the second quarter, and Parkersburg South could never get all the way back in the game after that. The Highlanders advanced to their third straight AAA state championship game with a 66-52 victory.
JR Howard finished with 21 points and Tavian Dunn-Martin 19 to lead Huntington. Dajon Congleton scored 10 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, and Mikal Dawson 9 points and 10 rebounds. Cody Boggs led South with 18 points, and Garrett GIlkeson added 11.
South jumped out to a quick 8-1 lead three minutes into the game, but Huntington bounced back quickly. The Highlanders scored 16 consecutive points over the next three minutes, sparked by three Dunn-Martin 3-pointers. The run continued into the second quarter as the lead ballooned to 26-10 with five minutes to play in the half. Parkersburg South responded to cut the deficit to 30-22 at the break.
The Patriots cut the lead to six with the first basket of the second half, but that is as close as they would get. Huntington pushed the lead back out to 15 at the end of the third quarter, and South would never get it back into single digits in the fourth quarter.
South fought to stay in this one, but ultimately, they could not knock down enough shots. Possibly due to having tired legs from its grueling double overtime win over Capital in the quarterfinals with no day off, the Patriots shot just 33% from the field and 20% from 3-point range for the game. They made some runs in the second half, but Huntington answered every one of them.
Parkersburg South will look very different next season after graduating all five starters. They will be down a little next year, but they have two promising young guys that got a good bit of time this year in Shane Snider and Seth Fallon, and they have another really good group coming that will be freshmen next year. Look for South to be right back in the state championship mix in a couple years.
Huntington’s march toward a third consecutive state championship continues. To get that third title, the Highlanders will have to knock off undefeated Morgantown.
JR Howard 21, Tavian Dunn-Martin 19, Dajon Congleton 19, Mikal Dawson 9, Jalen Pennington 6, Jadon Hayes 1
Parkersburg South 52
Cody Boggs 18, Garrett Gilkeson 11, Cole Day 7, Jordan Hockman 7, Seth Fallon 3, Dylan Ward 2, Shane Snider 2, Josh Wolfe 2