WHEELING - If the idea is to be playing your best basketball in March, as Wheeling Park coach Michael Jebbia suggests, perhaps he needs to rein his guys in a bit.
For the second consecutive night to open the season the Patriots did exactly what they wanted, whenever they wanted. The result has been a pair of blowout victories, the latest a 72-37 dismantling of city rival Wheeling Central on Wednesday night at the Basketball Palace on the Hill.
''We've got a 13-day break between now and our next game, and there's always things to work on,'' Jebbia said.
Wheeling Central’s Jordan Sorge goes above Wheeling Park’s Shaun Black (1) in an attempt to score the bucket and draw a foul.
Photo by Rick Thorp
Try explaining that one to Maroon Knights coach Mel Stephens.
He watched his debuting team have a difficult time getting anything going on both ends of the court. Wheeling Central (0-1) shot 28 percent from the floor, mostly on contested jumpers, while allowing the Patriots (2-0) to get out and run almost extensively.
''Park's very good. They've got a real shot to win the state, I think,'' Stephens said. ''Transition, coming in that was our No. 1 key.
''Out of their 70-some points they probably had 50 in transition. Even their big guys run the floor so well.''
Central hung in for most of the first half and trailed by nine at the break, but Park turned it up a couple notches in the third and fourth quarters. At the heart of the matter, as he usually is, what Bubby Goodwin.
One night after scoring 15 and dishing out 11 assists in a victory at Steubenville, the junior and reigning Intelligencer Sophomore of the Year scored 10 of his game-high 19 points in the third quarter as the Patriots widened the gap to 48-32 heading to the fourth.
''He's the type of kid that if he doesn't score, as long as we win, he's OK,'' Jebbia said of Goodwin. ''He's a total team guy.
''He was cramping up at halftime laying on the bench. We didn't know what was up but he said 'Coach, I can go.' ''
When he wasn't scoring, Goodwin was passing - mostly out of a high pick-and-roll set. The Patriots made a living in that area as he continually found big men Richard Hall (eight points, seven rebounds, five assists) and Marqez O'Neal (15 points, game-high nine rebounds) for easy buckets.
''That's something we should have handled better because a lot of teams we play use the ball screen-and-roll,'' Stephens said. ''We've defended it pretty well in the past, but we just didn't do a very good job on it at all.
''They're just so big. We can't combat their size.''
The Patriots continued to pour it on in the fourth behind a balanced effort that saw eight players score. With a little more than 3 minutes remaining, both clubs emptied their benches.
''Everybody contributed and kept plugging away,'' Jebbia said. ''The expectations are now higher, but it's because of what we did last year.
''Our goal is to get to Charleston again and win it all. Last year we set a goal to get there because we hadn't been able to get over the hump for a few years.''
Jack Weishar had 11 points and five rebounds to lead the Maroon Knights. Perhaps the game's finest play came when he timed his jump just right and got up to block what appeared to be a certain dunk by O'Neal in the second quarter.
Zack Hood (seven) and Aldon Ghaphery (six) combined for 13 points.
Union Local 56
SHADYSIDE - Justin Andes scored 29 points and Nick Schuetz added 15, as they led Shadyside past Union Local.
Patrick O'Donnell added 11 points and Ellis Brown totaled eight for the Tigers (4-0).
Union Local (1-3), was led by Kevin Valine with 10 points. Kevin Ogilbee and Myron Jellison each added nine.
BEALLSVILLE - Tyler Spence scored 23 points and Sam Jackson added 14, as they led Beallsville (2-3) past Cameron.
Cole Cottrell scored 25 points to pace the Dragons (0-3).
CAMBRIDGE -Cambridge's Candice Bumgardner was the game's lone double-figure scorer, as the Bobcats doubled up Coshocton.
Coshocton scored 15 of its 25 points in the fourth quarter.
OUE 52, OU Newark 52
NEWARK, Ohio - OU-Easter extended its winning streak to eight with a wire-to-wire victory against OSU Newark.
The Panthers were led by Amber Skvarka with 27 points, a career-high 10 steals, and six rebounds. Allie Doan added 22 points, seven assists and six steals. Savannah Burke chipped in with 14 points, nine rebounds and five steals. Natalie Perzanowski finished with 12 points, seven assists and seven rebounds.
The Panthers (9-1 overall, 6-0 Ohio Regional Campus Conference) next play Saturday at home against 10-2 Penn State Beaver, the top-ranked team in USCAA's national poll for the fourth consecutive week. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m.
OSU Newark fell to 7-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference with the loss.
NEWARK, Ohio - Former Shadyside standout Steve Luckhardt scored 22 points and Thomas Norris added 20, as OUE defeated OSU-Newark.
Carter Baldwin finished with 17 points, Zach Tolzda added 16, and Thomas Norris added 10 points for the Panthers.
WELLSBURG - Derek Wayne nearly broke his own school record in the 200-yard Freestyle by turning in a 1:55.65, more than 50 seconds ahead of his nearest Cambridge competitor, as he led the Brooke boys' swim team to a victory in a dual meet.
Wayne's record in the event, which he set in January, is 1:54.16.
Wayne was also part of Brooke's 200 medley relay team, along with Jacob Harrick, Kevin Rowland, and Jacob Robey. That team turned in a time of 1:59.88.
Brooke also won the 400 freestyle relay in a time of 3:48.25, with the same four guys swimming to victory.
WELLSBURG - Junior Kaylea Dulaney posted golds in both the 100-yard butterfly (1:05.12) and the 100-yard backstroke (1:03.16), as she led the Brooke girls past Cambridge.
She was also a part of the team's winning 200-freestyle relay team, along with Sara Riggs, Rachel Richard, and Tieghlor Richard.