WEIRTON - The Brooke Bruins built an 18-point lead after one quarter and cruised to a 92-42 win over Weir High Friday night at the Carl R. Hamill Fieldhouse.
The Bruins enjoyed a balanced scoring attack with five players in double figures, but veteran coach Dave Reitter felt it was his defense and his bench that got the job done.
"We've been working since the first practice on pressure defense and getting out and running because we're not very big," Reitter explained after his Bruins won its second game of the young season. "We're fortunate in that we have some depth where we can substitute some kids and still get done what we're trying to do out there.
DEFENSE — From left, Brooke’s Austin Schmbach, Russell Schwertfeger and Hunter Wallace surround Weir’s Dylan Cassiadoro as teammate Josh Groves looks to help during Friday’s 92-42 win by the Bruins at the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse.
"I thought our pressure was real good today and the kids were unselfish. I keep telling the kids that you have to play the game every day.
"It doesn't matter who the opponent is you've got to play the game our way and not let the other team dictate to us."
The Brooke pressure forced Weir High into mistakes and poor shooting. For the second straight game, the Red Riders committed more than 20 turnovers (they had 21). The Riders made 14 of 56 shots for 26 percent.
Brooke 92, Weir High 42
Brooke 25 25 23 19 - 92
Weir High 7 12 9 14 - 42
BROOKE: Schwertfeger 5 1-3 13, Wallace 3 3-3 10, Gambellin 4 2-2 11, Johnson 3 1-1 8, Shambauch 8 1-1 19, Cole 3 0-0 6, Buchmelter 2 1-2 5, Fritz 0 0-2 0, Heaton 5 0-0 10, DeStefano 1 0-0 2, Sole 1 0-0 2, Dameron 3 0-0 6. Totals: 38 9-14 92. Three-pointers: Schwertfeger (2), Shambach (2), Wallace, Gambellin, Johnson; Rebounds: 32 (Wallace, 10); Turnovers: 9.
WEIR HIGH: Masters 1 0-0 2, Knight 0 0-2 0, Viakley 1 0-0 2, Wood 1 0-0 2, Davis 1 1-1 3, Cassiadoro 1 1-2 3, Groves 0 4-7 4, Smith 1 0-0 3, Sims 3 2-7 8, Curtis 4 0-0 10, Kirk 1 2-2 5. Totals: 14 10-21 42. Three-pointers: Curtis (2), Smith, Kirk; Rebounds: 21 (Sims, Viakley, 5 each); Turnovers 21.
Weir High was losing its third game of the season all in similar fashion. The opposition pressured the inexperienced Red Riders.
Red Rider coach, Mike Granato, agreed with Reitter that it was Brooke's pressure that was the biggest factor in the game.
"I was impressed with Brooke's pressure," he said. "I thought they did a great job of forcing us out of any rhythm. They have an excellent ball club. It was the type of game where we got a lot of young kids in and I think when we look back at these games late in the season it will make us better when we get into our double-A play.
"That's how we're going to approach it. With our schedule, it is one triple-A team after another. We have John Marshall, Indian Creek and Harrison Central next week."
Brooke junior, Russell Schwertfeger, zipped a long three-pointer to open the scoring, one of seven goals from bonus land for the Bruins.
Weir High senior Dylan Cassiadoro hit his only field goal of the game and sophomore Michael Curtis followed with a short jumper to give Weir High its only lead of the game at 4-3, but the young Red Riders could hang with Brooke for only about the first three minutes of the game.
From there, the Bruins went on a 22-3 run and basically removed any doubt about the outcome. It was 50-19 at the half.
Brooke senior, Austin Shambach, a 5-9 dynamo, seemed to be everywhere. He scored a game-high 19 points, many on transition layups and had a couple of steals.
"Austin has been playing like that," said Reitter. "Last year he lettered for us. This year he had to step up and take over the one guard for us. We keep emphasizing that he needs to keep hustling back and he might get a couple of steals like he did today. He did a nice job today and, you know, I thought every one of our kids did a nice job."
Schwertfeger canned 13 points, senior Jesse Gambellin got 11 and Hunter Wallace and Ryan Heaton each scored 10 points. Wallace, a senior, checked in with a double-double pulling down 10 caroms to lead all rebounders.
Wallace led Brooke to a significant advantage in rebounding with a 32-21 edge off the boards. The Bruins made 38 of 78 shots for a red hot 48.7 shooting percentage.
Curtis was the only Red Rider in double figures including two from three-point land. The sophomore scored 10 points in his third varsity game. Junior Andre Sims backed him up with eight points.
Brooke's next outing will be a trip to Morgantown next Wednesday while the Red Riders also hit the road for its next game at John Marshall on Tuesday.