CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- South Charleston coach Ronnie Means knows the talent is there.The Black Eagles played an even opening half with Parkersburg until allowing Hunter Hill's goal just before halftime, then it was all Big Reds thereafter in a 3-1 victory Tuesday. A crowd of about 100 attended the Class AAA matchup at Andrew Jordon Field at Trace Fork.Hill, one of the smaller players on the field, set the tone, rising above defenders for a header to give Parkersburg a 1-0 lead with 6:25 left before halftime."Just desire,'' Parkersburg coach Don Fosselman said of Hill. "He never stops. He never quits.''
Evan Rhodes tallied an unassisted goal less than seven minutes into the second half and Parkersburg (6-0-2), which was fourth in this week's state coaches association rankings, dominated the rest of the way. Tommy Logston added the final goal with 1:35 to go for the Big Reds, who lost in last year's state tournament championship.Devonyet Harris scored on a penalty kick after a handball in the penalty box was called on Parkersburg, its only miscue of the night. SC keeper Jacob Jordon stopped 11 shots.
"We get frustrated and stop playing together and stop trusting one another,'' said Means, who had to replace several starters from last year's team that lost to state semifinalist George Washington on penalty kicks during sectional play. "That's something we've been working on. It seems like when things are going well, we play well and when we face a little bit of adversity we start complaining about not getting the ball and doing little things that shouldn't be happening this point in the season. That's something we're trying to fix.''That was evident as the Black Eagles (4-2-1) rose to No. 11 in the rankings in spite of their inexperience."They were beating us to balls. They wanted it more," Means said. "Until we come out with some intensity to match the better teams ... I feel like we're beating the teams we're supposed to beat. That was something last year we improved as the year went and knocked some of those top teams off.''Parkersburg goalie Reid Strobl turned in 10 saves.Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4811.