WEIRTON - The crucial implications of a tournament game were lacking Monday night inside the Bill Barrett Gymnasium.
That's not to say the Weir and Madonna girls basketball game wasn't important - for either team.
"This was our third-straight emotional game," said Blue Dons coach Don Ogden. "Going in that was my concern, were we emotionally going to be ready for a game?"
CITY RIVALS — Madonna’s Monica Bragg shoots over Madison Dalrymple of Weir in the first half of their game on Monday. The Blue Dons topped the Red Riders 45-34 and Bragg scored a game-high 23 points.
-- Matthew Peaslee
DRIVING -- Weir’s Raegan Stead drives through the lane past Madonna’s Rachel Grubbs in the second half. Stead led the Red Riders with 15 points.
-- Matthew Peaslee
Less than a week removed from an overtime win against Morgantown Trinity at home and just two days since a deflating loss to unbeaten Conotton Valley in the OVAC title game, Madonna topped the rival Red Riders, 45-34.
"They're kids," Ogden said. "You never really know what you're going to get. They responded well. I liked some things I saw and it was a good win."
Weir (6-13) was coming off a Friday night win against East Liverpool and started the game with a 3-0 lead.
Senior Alyssa Shingle, who recorded her 1,000th point against the Potters, knocked down a 3-pointer in her first shot attempt of the night.
But she wouldn't score again until a triple late in the third quarter.
Madonna sophomore Monica Bragg set a strong pace early scoring all but two of the Blue Dons' 14 first quarter points.
Madonna (11-8) went up by double digits early in the second quarter on a pair of Bragg 3-pointers, but didn't record its first field goal of the frame until Becca Holt knocked down a jumper at the 3:58 mark.
Weir shot just five of 29 in the first half, while the Blue Dons were just 10 of 33.
In the game, the Red Riders turned the ball over 18 times and Madonna committed 15 turnovers.
"It was a pretty ugly game, for sure," Ogden said. "Everybody played for us tonight, and that's a plus, but it also takes a little flow out of the game. It's hard to get continuity going and I think that contributed to it."
Madonna led 24-11 at halftime. Before the start of the third quarter, when the rest of her teammates were resting on the bench after a quick shoot-around, Blue Dons sophomore Isabella Rosso spent some extra time working on 3-pointers with an assistant coach.
She sunk a few in a row before entering back into game action. Then, on her first attempt of the second half, she drilled a 3-pointer from the right arc to put Madonna up by 16 points.
"She's such a good shooter," Odgen said. "She's been struggling though. When you're shooting, you need to have a short memory. Just keep shooting. I have total confidence in her shot and I want her shooting."
Weir picked up steam in the fourth quarter and would cut the deficit down to eight points. Madison Dalrymple played strong inside for the Red Riders with seven blocks and three steals to go with six points.
Raegan Stead led Weir with 15 points and Shingle finished with 10. Ashlyn Drizake chipped in with three.
Bragg notched a game-high 22 points with four rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Aubrey Platek grabbed seven of Madonna's 31 rebounds and also had a block. Rachel Grubbs and Rosso each finished with seven points and six rebounds apiece.
Holt finished with six points and seven rebounds, while Katie Lammers added three points for the Blue Dons.
Madonna will next host Oak Glen on Thursday, while Weir will play at Brooke.
Madonna 45, Weir 34
Weir 5 6 15 8 34
Madonna 14 10 13 8 45
Weir (6-13): Stead 6 2-2 15, Shingle 2 4-5 10, Drizake 1 1-2 3, Dalrymple 3 0-0 6. TOTALS: 12 7-9 34. 3-pointers: Shingle 2, Stead.
Madonna (11-8): Dowiak 0 0-1 0, Holt 3 0-0 6, Rosso 2 2-3 7, Grubbs 2 3-4 7, Bragg 7 8-8 22, Lammers 1 1-6 3. TOTALS: 15 14-21 45. 3-pointers: Rosso.