Even in this tough economy, Mike Fallon would not have a problem making a sales pitch reap benefits.
The boys basketball coach from Parkersburg South has sold his players on a philosophy that if they played four full quarters, they could compete with anybody.
Tuesday night at Memorial Fieldhouse, that came to fruition as the Patriots defeated crosstown rival Parkersburg 71-60 - marking the first for Fallon in his two seasons with South.
"It's a great win not only beating PHS, but it was one of those wins we needed to get us going and get us over the hump," Fallon said. "I've told the kids we have not made it over the hill - we want to build and be one of the best basketball teams in the state of West Virginia."
Part of Fallon's strategy the past couple of games was convincing senior Mike Goldsberry that he could be more valuable as a sixth man rather than starting. Goldsberry grasped that role with open arms and his presence on the court in the third quarter against PHS was vital since four starters were riding the pine with foul trouble.
Although he didn't attempt a shot until the two-minute mark of the second quarter, Goldsberry finished with 12 points - including a 5-for-5 effort from the free-throw line in the final period.
"When Cody Monroe got his fourth foul there in the fourth quarter, Matt stepped up and ran our offense," Fallon said. "He did a great job."
The next task awaiting Fallon is changing the defensive scheme. The Patriots played primarily man against the Big Reds.
"We're going to quit playing zones," Fallon firmly stated. "We're going to get tough and be a little different basketball team than we've been in the past. The kids are buying into it."
Both Jeff and his wife Kim are Belpre High School graduates who live in the Columbus area. They have three children, including their son Jerrod - a redshirt freshman on the Alabama football team who dressed for Monday's 21-0 victory over LSU in the BCS Championship game.
The couple returned early Wednesday morning from New Orleans.
"It was just crazy (this past week) - as you can imagine," Jeff said. "LSU fans and Alabama fans really don't like each other.
"It was quite an experience going to the Louisiana Superdome and to be a part of that was just unbelievable. I can't imagine being a player because from a spectator's perspective it was overwhelming to see that."
Next season, Jeff's son could possibly see action on special teams after filling a role as free safety on the first-team scout defense. Jarrod, who is studying for a career in sports management, played defensive back while a member of the Dublin Coffman High School team.
"Alabama's selling point was if you want to play for the best, this is the best," Jeff said.
Contact Kerry Patrick at email@example.com