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Boys' Basketball: Bishop Donahue Bests Cameron

January 4, 2012
By RICK THORP ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

CAMERON - Bishop Donahue took the old adage "It's not how you start, but how you finish" and reversed it Tuesday night.

The Bishops rode strong beginnings in the first and second halves to a 73-63 triumph against Cameron in the second meeting in a month between the schools and likely the last at the current Cameron High School.

''I told (my players) at halftime that basketball is a game of spurts ... and they had a few more than we did,'' Cameron coach Chad Clutter said.

Article Photos

Cameron’s Hunter Chambers (32) and Bishop Donahue’s Wylie Koontz battle for a rebound Tuesday.

''We had a nice run there in the fourth quarter, but they just had more runs.''

The Bishops (6-1), ranked sixth in the latest West Virginia Class A state poll, jumped out to a 11-2 lead to open the game. Then, coming out of halftime, Donahue rattled off six straight points to take command.

Clutter said those runs were reminiscent of the Bishops' 78-52 triumph in McMechon Dec. 9.

''I think in the first half they got 21 points off offensive rebounds and our turnovers,'' he said. ''But that's how they play. They're an aggressive defensive team and they will get turnovers.

''That's how they win ballgames. That was the difference - our turnovers and their offensive rebounds.''

Cameron opened the game on top with a Mark Walker jumper, but the Bishops responded with 11 straight points to take the lead for good.

The Dragons responded with a 10-4 run of their own to pull to within 17-14 after one quarter.

D.T. Meeker scored six of his 12 points during the early stages of the second quarter as Bishop Donahue surged in front 35-20. But, just like in the first quarter, Cameron went on a run, outscoring the Bishops, 12-3, to end the half and trail 38-32 at halftime.

Hunter Chambers, who finished with a team-high 18 points for the Dragons (3-5), started the spurt. Alex Jones and Ryan Hughes, who finished with 15 and 13 points, respectively, also contributed to the run.

There was no such run for Cameron in the third quarter, but Bishop Donahue kept at its overpowering transition game, sparked by point guard Garrett Yurisko.

The Bishops took a 51-35 lead after Meeker scored on a layup that came courtesy of a nifty behind-the-back pass from Yurisko.

''When things get bad, give it to Garrett and let him take care of the ball,'' Donahue coach Tom Wise said. ''Because when he gets the ball, something good usually happens.''

Yurisko also scored 12 points. Austin Ghaphery paced Bishop Donahue with 19.

Wise wasn't 100 percent pleased with the victory, but considering the Bishops hadn't played since last week's Undo's Tournament, he was happy with the performance.

''We looked a little bit off timing-wise,'' he said. ''But, you know, you go on the road and win, that's a good thing.

''I thought we played well at the start of each half. We came out early in the second and gave up only three points in the first 4 and-a-half minutes or so. We talked at halftime about setting the tone defensively and we took a six-point lead to 13 or 14 pretty quickly.

''We just weren't consistent.''

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