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GIRLS' BASKETBALL: Shorthanded Bellaire St. John Topples Paden City

Young, Russell lead charge for Kapral’s Irish

January 15, 2012
By TRACY WATSON , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

PADEN CITY - You will probably never hear Bellaire St. John girls' basketball coach Bubba Kapral or Paden City mentor Kelly Sine complain about the situations and adversity their teams have faced this season.

But if ever there were a pair of coaches that have gripes they could air it would be them.

After all, while Kapral had seven healthy players Saturday, the previous two games he played with five and the two before that just six. On the other hand, Sine was hired at the very last minute to take over a young team that has dealt with injury and illness most of the campaign as well.

Saturday the two teams hooked up at Bob Burton Gymnasium, with the youthful Wildcats having chances, but not being able to overtake the Fighting Irish.

Kristen Russell and Rosa Young combined for 35 points and 21 rebounds and St. John pulled away late to post a commanding 55-31 victory against Paden City at the Wetzel County school.

The victory moves the Irish to 8-4 on the season with a big three-game week facing them as they sit on the cusp of the Class A Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Top four.

''We have played shorthanded for awhile, but we are 8-4 and all of our losses have been close games against very good teams,'' Kapral said. ''We lost to Wheeling Central and Trinity, either of which could win a West Virginia Class A championship; a Conotton Valley team that is better than most people know about, and a game against Beallsville that I gave away late.''

There was no giving anything away Saturday for the Fighting Irish.

Leading 6-5 midway through the opening quarter, Russell and Young took control. Russell finished with eight points and five rebounds in the stanza while Young added seven points and four boards.

St. John managed to score the final 11 points of the quarter to lead 17-5 after one.

With Russell adding eight more points and four more rebounds in the second, the Fighting Irish moved the margin to 31-16 at the break.

It was an interesting third quarter, with the visitors not recording a field goal for 9 minutes, going back into the second chapter, but still putting up the final five points and escaping with a 40-25 edge.

Overall, St. John outscored Paden City (1-10) by a 20-6 margin over the final 9:36 of play.

''I think we played very well in the first half, but got a little lazy in the third quarter,'' Kapral said. ''Rosa and Kristen both played very well and kept us moving and were a big part of this.

''We really don't have a whole lot of margin for error with our numbers, but this has been a very fun bunch to coach.''

Things actually got a little hairy for the Irish in the quarter, with only a two-player bench, the visitors had three girls with four fouls each, but did not have anyone foul out in the end.

''Rebounding killed us,'' Sine said. ''But it makes you feel good to watch them get back into the game just a little bit in the third quarter against a quality program like St. John.

''We are just so young and you are going to have a large number of turnovers with that. It is going to take time, but we will get thing thing turned around.

''The big thing for me is that that kids have been great and want to learn and I have all the support I could possibly ask for from the parents and the school.''

Russell finished with a double-double, 18 points and 12 rebounds. Young added 17 points and nine boards and MacLaine Murad, returning from injury, dropped in 11.

Hannah Stanley topped the Wildcats with 12 tallies while Dominique Craft and Amanda Heasley finished with seven each. Heasley also had nine rebounds

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