WEIRTON - North Marion utilized superior height and scored repeatedly off of its transition game to overpower Weir High, 74-52, Saturday afternoon in a girls basketball game at the Carl R. Hamill Fieldhouse.
It was the season opener for the Lady Huskies, but they appeared to be in midseason form with nine girls scoring in a balanced offensive attack.
With tall junior center Anna Moscufo leading the way with 12 points and senior sharpshooter, Audie Bartlett, netting eight including two threes, the Lady Huskies raced out to a 23-15 first quarter lead and were never headed. They outscored the Lady Red Riders (0-3) in every quarter.
Down by 37-26 at halftime, the Lady Red Riders made their only run of the game coming out of the locker room cutting the Lady Huskie lead to 40-35 at the 4:50 mark of the third quarter when senior Shelva Burns canned a jumper from close range.
However, junior Mackensy Hess drove to the basket for a goal and was fouled. She drilled the free throw (she was 6 of 6 from the line in the game) to ignite a North Marion run that put the game out of reach.
The Lady Huskies outscored Weir High 17-5 throughout the remainder of the third period to assume a commanding 57-40 margin going into the final frame.
North Marion 74, Weir High 52
North Marion 23 14 20 17 - 74
Weir15 11 14 12 - 52
NORTH MARION: Bartlett 3 2-3 10, Haller 2 4-7 8, Moscufo 8 0-1 16, Singleton 2 3-4 7, Rodriguez 4 0-0 9, Egress 3 1-2 9, Hess 3 6-6 12, Andrea Nicholas 0 1-2 1, Wells 1 0-0 2. Totals: 26 17-25 74. Three-pointers: Bartlett (2), Egress (2), Rodriguez (1); Rebounds 43 (Singleton, 11, Moscufo and Egress 9 each); Turnovers: 14.
WEIR HIGH: Young 1 7-9 9, Stead 1 4-6 6, Shingle 4 0-2 10, Long 1 0-0 3, Lemley 3 1-2 7, Burns 5 2-3 12, Dalrymple 1 3-4 5. Totals: 16 17-26 52. Three-pointers: Shingle (2), Long (1); Rebounds: 20 (Burns 5, Stead 4); Turnovers: 16.
"I didn't think we played badly," said veteran Red Rider coach, Bill Smith, "I thought our girls scrapped hard. I have no complaints about the game other than we lost because my girls gave me their top effort.
"North Marion is ranked eighth in West Virginia. They're a pretty good ball club. They have a lot of depth. I was well pleased, though, with our effort today."
The Lady Huskies enjoyed a good game on the boards out rebounding Weir High 43-20 and often getting two or three shots from under the basket. Noca Singleton finished with 11 boards while Moscufo, who led all scorers with 16 points, and freshman Cara Egress pulled down nine missed shots each.
Egress, a freshman, gave coach Mike Parish's Huskies a big lift off the bench. In addition to her rebounding, she scored nine points..
"Rebounding got us into transition," Parish explained. "But we had spells where we looked good and spells where we missed some easy shots and not getting good catches. We got the lead up to 10 or 12 points a couple of times, but they kept coming back until the fourth quarter. I think we finally wore them down.
"(Anna) Moscufo got us off to a good start. We just had times when we were inconsistent. I think we only scored one point the last four minutes of the first half when we could have put the game away. But a lot of it was first game jitters for us. I had a lot of freshmen and sophomores playing and on the road the first game. So I expected a little bit of that. We just have to learn from it and get prepared for the next game."
The Lady Huskies, with their ability to get their big girls the ball for close shots, out shot the Red Riders 40 percent to 27 percent. North Marion made 26 of 64 shots while the Riders hit 16 of 59.
Hess finished with 12 points and Bartlett made 10 to back up Moscufo in the scoring column.
Weir High was led in scoring by Burns with 12 points and junior Alyssa Shingle, who hustled her way to four steals and grabbed three rebounds despite being the smallest girl on the floor, tallied 10 points. Senior, Raven Young, chipped in nine points including 7 of 9 from the foul line.
Weir High will entertain Steubenville Big Red Monday.