BECKLEY, W.Va. - Even though it's still January, it's never too early for a statement win. Just ask Hurricane.
Garrett DeFries scored 12 of his 18 points in the first half Friday evening and the Redskins used a blistering start to thump state-ranked Parkersburg South 60-40 during the Big Atlantic Classic at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.
The unranked Redskins (11-3) vaulted into a 27-8 lead early in the second quarter and pretty much coasted thereafter for their first victory against a Class AAA ranked opponent.
"We needed something like this,'' said Hurricane coach Lance Sutherland. "Our losses have come to South Charleston, Beckley and Capital, so we needed . . . for people to start recognizing us, we had to beat somebody that had that marquee, that name. And South was one of those.''
The No. 7 Patriots (11-2) entered the game with an average winning margin of 19-plus points, but were really never in it against Hurricane.
South went 0 of 10 on 3-pointers in the first half, falling behind 40-19 at the break, and finished 2 of 20 from long range. The Patriots shot only 30 percent overall compared to Hurricane's 52 percent.
"They embarrassed us,'' said South coach Mike Fallon. "They played great. They wanted it more than us. They attacked us and we kind of played back. We let them push us around a little bit, and we took it. Credit to them. They made us look bad.''
Hurricane got one of its lowest point totals of the season from leading scorer Henry Sorsaia, who had eight points, 14 below his average. But the Redskins didn't really need it because everyone else was getting open for fast-break baskets and driving layups.
Trey Dawson (3 of 3 on 3s) scored 15 points and Ace Estep 11. Sorsaia did dish out four assists and grabbed eight rebounds to lead the Skins to a 34-29 edge off the boards.
"I thought we played pretty well,'' Sutherland said. "Toward the end we played not to lose a little bit, but I think it's the best game we've played all year.
"We knew that in the past few games, we haven't ran very well. We knew if the fast break was there, we [had to take it]. We're pretty quick, but we don't look very quick. We knew transition points would be the best thing for us to attack them. I thought we beat them down the floor today.''