Aldridge, Umpleby lead Big Reds past Logan

PARKERSBURG-The Big Reds from Parkersburg High celebrated Senior Night appropriately as seniors Dru Aldridge, Ben Umpleby and Andrew Bayer combined for 52 points in a 69-66 win over visiting Logan.

With the victory, Parkersburg, which plays host to Winfield in a Mountain State Athletic Conference placement game on Friday at Memorial Fieldhouse, improved to 8-12 on the season while Mark Hatcher’s Wildcats dropped to 6-11.

Fans witnessed a see-saw affair throughout the contest as Logan took a four-point, 44-40, advantage into the final eight minutes of play.

The Wildcats’ Brynden Street pushed the margin to five, 45-40, when he connected on one-of-two from the free throw line with 7:44 showing on the clock. A triple by PHS senior Chad Newell 10 seconds later, however, sliced that deficit to two, 45-43, and a pair of free throws by Bayer 18 seconds after that knotted the contest at 45.

Logan would take its final lead of the game with 6:30 left on the clock on a Street layin. However, a rebound bucket by Umpleby, who finished with 19 points and six rebounds, ignited a 7-2 run by the hosts over the next two minutes to give the Big Reds a 52-49 lead with 4:35 left in the contest.

An inside bucket by 6-foot-8 T.J. Tomblin cut the margin to one, 52-51, for the visitors, but three straight points by Umpleby pushed the Big Reds lead back to four, 55-51, with 3:43 left to play.

From there the teams traded points with Parkersburg making good on 12-of-14 shots from the free throw line while Logan’s Street and Reynolds kept things close with short jump shots.

Leading the Big Reds in scoring was Aldridge with a game-high 21 points while Bayer chipped in with 12. Logan received 14 points from Zak Miller, 13 from Street and 12 from Reynolds.

The game started out as expected as two teams in need of a win battled tooth-and-nail through the first quarter with the Wildcats taking a four-point, 17-13, advantage thanks to six points from Miller.

Parkersburg battled back behind the scoring of Aldridge (6), to pull to within a single bucket, 27-25, at the intermission. The Big Reds continued on the attack to begin the second half as a bucket by Bayer and a triple by Newell knotted the game at 30 with 7:17 showing on the clock.

The score remained knotted after buckets by the Wildcats’ Street and Parkersburg’s Umpleby. However, an 8-0 run by the guests staked the Wildcats to a 40-32 lead with four minutes left in the period.

Parkersburg answered as Aldridge took a pass from Bayer and connected from behind the 3-point line to make the score, 40-35. And, the senior continued his assault on the bucket two minutes later when his second triple of the period brought the hosts back to within four, 42-38.

The teams again traded a buckets with Parkersburg getting a rebound bucket by Umpleby before a last second shot by the Wildcats’ Zach Minnick gave Logan its four-point lead heading into the final quarter.