McGinnis realized Friday's game was going to be a good barometer for his team, which had streaked out to a 3-0 start by simply outscoring opponents, averaging 83-plus points per game.
"During the three-week [summer] practice, we played Park,'' McGinnis said, "and they didn't have everybody and we didn't have everybody, but they waxed us pretty good. They're bigger than us and we withstood some foul problems tonight.
"But our kids played hard. We're so pleased with how hard they've played. Over the years, we've had teams who played pretty hard, but nobody's played harder than this team. That's key for us. We know it's early and we've got to get better in a lot of areas.''
Bellomy, who poured in 35 points in his last game, missed his first nine shots on Friday and didn't make a field goal until a 3 at the end of the third period that gave the Generals a 45-42 lead in a game that had eight ties and nine lead changes.
The lead bounced back and forth. Park was up by six midway into the third quarter before Winfield rebounded for a 49-42 lead at the outset of the final period. Just as suddenly, the Patriots tore off on a 12-0 run to go up 54-49.
"I think everybody had their opportunities,'' Jebbia said. "There was a time stuck in my head, we were up 42-38 it seemed for about three, four minutes and we just weren't able to score and widen the lead.
"Give them credit. I think they wanted it a little bit more. It's the first adversity we've seen. Our first two games, we were sort of in control from beginning to end.''
Park had 19 turnovers and Winfield 16. The Patriots led 43-26 in rebounds.
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.