Parkview defeated West Plains 53-39 to claim the Parkview Classic title after taking the lead early on Saturday afternoon.
Both teams started off slowly searching for weak spots in the other’s defense and the score remained close throughout the first quarter.
“I thought, in general, we played well, but this is the first year we’ve run this type of a matchup and we’re seeing some different things,” said Parkview’s coach, Bill Brown. “We’re a different team than we’ve been in the past… and we’re sometimes still adjusting this early on.”
During the second quarter, Parkview found the adjustment they were looking for. Senior Erik Durham (17 points) consistently found space at the 3-point line while Nathan Reichert (13 points) and Darris Perry (11 points) kept the ball moving when the Vikings were on offense.
“You know, a lot of the stuff that we do is so team oriented so that [Durham] is not getting a lot of those open shots unless the ball comes out of the post, but he’s worked really hard and this is his year to shine,” Brown said.
“We really wanted to get in our zone and get in the middle with some 3s,” said Durham. “The team was there to set me up and get me open for those shots.”
The Vikings’ offensive momentum, however, began with a more aggressive defensive effort. Perry and AJ Green worked to win turnovers, several times intercepting shots by West Plains’ 6’5’’ giant, Taylor Gill (10 points) and their leading scorer Justin Davis (14 points).
“It took us a while to get our legs going… [and then] our defense got going a little faster than our offense. We started to get more deflections, tips, and then we got some open shots,” said Brown.
The Zizzers, after falling behind in the second quarter, started looking for ways they could come back, but could not seem to win as many turnovers as Parkview or bring their defense together as effectively as the Vikings.
“We were playing pretty well, but I have to take my hat off to Parkview,” said West Plains’ coach, Kevin Smith. “You know, we usually shoot a little better than we did, but overall I think we played a close game.”
By the fourth quarter, West Plains had done little to close what had become a consistent ten-point gap, and, with victory in sight, players on Parkview’s team were playing with confidence.
Green, for instance, who had played a mostly defensive role throughout the first three quarters, scored the first four points of the fourth and set himself up as an important playmaker assisting in shots by Durham and Perry.
Durham continued his work from the three point line in the fourth quarter, sinking two more to secure the win for the Vikings.
West Plains 9-10-10-10—39
Parkview—Erik Durham 17, Nathan Reichert 13, Darris Perry 11, AJ Green 6, DeShawn McCrimmons 6
West Plains—Justin Davis 14, Taylor Gill 10, Dalton Freshour 7, Logan Miller 3, Zach Flippin 3, Cole Butler 2