WEIRTON - Coaches say that when a team plays good defense good things happen and that's what Madonna girls basketball coach, Don Ogden, was saying Thursday night after his Lady Blue Dons won the annual City Championship game, 48-38 at the Carl R. Hamill Fieldhouse.
"We emphasized playing straight up defense, don't take chances, don't take risks," Ogden explained. "Make them earn their shots.
"Weir High's record (2-10) doesn't indicate how good they are. They're a good club and it was a typical championship game."
Courtesy Newbrough Photo
CITY CHAMPIONS — George Vargo, representing the Boys and Girls Club of Weirton, stands with the Weirton Madonna girls basketball team after it captured the traveling trophy with a 48-38 win over Weir High Thursday inside the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse for the annual city championship.
The Lady Red Riders had won the city title the last two years after the Lady Blue Dons had won it three years in a row from 2008 to 2010.
"You know my wife always tells me that I'm going to miss her one day, and she's right. I sure did miss that trophy," Ogden said with a chuckle.
His Blue Dons trailed only once and that was when Weir High senior Ashlynn Drizake opened the game with a short baseline jumper.
Madonna 48, Weir High 38
Madonna 11 16 8 13 - 48
Weir High 6 11 9 12 - 38
MADONNA (7-5): Dowiak 0 1-5 1, Holt 1 2-2 4, Rosso 0 2-2 2, R. Grubbs 6 5-6 17, Platek 2 2-4 6, Bragg 6 5-7 17, Lammers 0 1-2 1. TOTALS: 15 18-28 48. Rebounds, 19 (Bragge, 9); Turnovers: 18.
WEIR HIGH (2-10): Wolverton 0 0-0 0, Stead 5 3-4 14, Shingle 5 4-4 18, Drizake 1 0-0 2, Dalrymple 2 0-0 4, Kelly 0 0-0 0, Robinson 0 0-0 0, Dobosz 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 13 7-8 38. 3-pointers: Shinigle, 4, Stead; Rebounds, 19 (Stead, 7); Turnovers: 7.
Drizake received a head injury in the second quarter and didn't play the entire second half, which hurt the Lady Red Rider rebounding. She had three boards before she left the game, but Madonna won the board battle 29-19.
Madonna junior Rachael Grubbs gave the Lady Riders fits all game. She scored 11 of her 17 points in the first half as the Blue Dons took a 27-17 lead at the intermission. She also grabbed seven rebounds.
Sophomore Monica Bragg was another thorn in the side of the Weir High defense. She also scored 17 points and led Madonna with nine rebounds.
"They hit the offensive board," said Ogden. "That's one of the things we stressed on the missed shot let's attack the boards. We thought we could have some success on the offensive board if we were aggressive and we did."
Weir High came out in the third quarter and outscored the Blue Dons 9-8, but by the 2:53 mark of the fourth period, when Bragg got nothing but net on a foul shot, Madonna was in command with an 18 point lead at 46-28.
"They outplayed us in every phase of the game," said veteran Weir High coach, Bill Smith. "It's as simple as that. My hat is off to them. They came ready to play tonight and we weren't."
After the Blue Dons got the big lead in the fourth period, Ogden had his team hold on to the ball and play a keep away game.
However, that's when Weir High seniors Alyssa Shingle and Maddie Dalrymple got hot. Dalrymple started a 10-2 game-ending run for the Lady Red Riders when she grabbed a rebound and put the ball back up for two.
Shingle drilled a three-pointer home to make it 46-33.
Madonna sophomore Isabella Rosso sent two free throws through the hoop, but Dalrymple banked another layup home and Shingle hit from three again to cut the final margin to 10 points. Shingle made two other shots from behind the arc in the third period to finish with four bonus shots.
While losing Drizake hurt the Riders they also had starters, Selena Wolverton, Shingle, Raegan Stead and Dalrymple in foul trouble in the second half forcing Smith to juggle his lineup throughout.
"You never know when the Shingle girl is going to light up," Ogden said of his reasoning for going with the delay offense down the stretch. "When she does, it's a nightmare. We were working against the clock and fortunately we had a big enough lead.
"Early in the game we wanted to take the ball to them because Dalrymple is a force in the middle when she's in there. We told the girls for every two shots she blocks maybe we'll get a foul and make her sit down and we did do that for a little bit and it just went well."
Smith felt his team's shooting was off again.
"We maybe shot well once in the last five games," he explained. "When we don't shoot well, we're in trouble because we're not strong rebounders. We don't get those offensive rebounds and putbacks.
"We practice rebounding and boxing out all the time, but we get into a game and I don't see anybody putting the body on the other team. It's not a hard game. I talked to them before the game about boxing out and putting a body on somebody. If we don't, it will be a long night and it was.
"They just played us really well."
Stead finished with 14 points as the Riders had only four girls score.
Both teams return to action Saturday on the road.
Weir High travels to Benwood to play Bishop Donahue in a varsity only game that starts at noon. Madonna travels to Bellaire St. John for a noon junior varsity start.