MCMECHEN - If you are going to be able to play with Bishop Donahue's boys' basketball team, you had better be able to run the floor on both ends, and you might want to score points early in the game.
Paden City's youthful bunch found out the hard way Tuesday night that if you can't complete one, or either, of those two tasks you might just be in for a long night.
Chad Riedel scored 11 of his team-high 18 points in the first quarter as the Bishops got out and running early, building as much as a 23-point cushion in the first period, before running away with an 88-54 victory against the Wildcats at Bishop Donahue High School.
With the victory, Coach Tom Wise's Bishops improved to 10-3, while Coach Fred King's Wildcats is reversed at 3-10.
"We had been in a little bit of a funk our last couple of games," Wise said. ''But boy, we sure came out relaxed and ready to run the court (Tuesday).''
That was evident from the opening whistle as the Bishops used an Austin Ghaphery 3-pointer and three consecutive hoops off of turnovers to race to a 9-0 lead just 1:18 into the game. An 8-0 flurry and a quick 7-0 spurt a short time later helped the hosts cruise to a 31-10 advantage after one.
Donahue all but put the finishing touches on things with a 54-28 reading at the break and a 12-0 rally to begin the third that made it a 66-28 reading. The biggest lead of the night came late on a Devonte Hampton 3-pointer that made it an 86-46 count.
''I think we got back to looking like we had earlier in the season,'' Wise said. ''We did an awful lot of good things out there, including playing some super full-court defense early and rebounding. But the big thing was getting the tempo to where we wanted it.
''It was nice to get a lot of kids some good playing time also, that is something that is only going to help us in the long run. When you see kids like Lavonte Hampton getting confidence and doing the things he is capable of it is really nice.''
D.T. Meeker and Hampton, coming off the bench, each added 17 for the Bishops, who snagged a 36-27 edge off the glass and turned the ball over just 13 times, compared to 28 for the Wildcats. In all, the Bishops got 37 points from their bench.
For King it was a night in which his team played hard to the final whistle, and continued to grow. At times the veteran mentor plays with four freshmen on the court.
The biggest bright spot for Paden City is big man Kennedy Cain, who is quickly developing into one of the finest freshmen in the valley.
That development continued Tuesday with Cain capping a 31-point, 12-rebound performance, including hitting six shots from behind the arc.
''I have challenged Kennedy Cain to get physical, and he has done that,'' King said. ''He can hit from anywhere on the floor and he really answered the bell for us (Tuesday).
''Overall, I am very proud of this effort. We were bouncing all over the floor, diving for loose balls and we continued to fight back all night. This is a tough place to play and they are a very good team.
''You know, I look up on the wall and see all the pictures of their seniors, and I have just two, and most of the rest are freshmen. And when these freshmen got knocked down (Tuesday), they got right back up. If we continue to play with this kind of intensity good things are going to happen, I am not saying we are going to win a bunch of games, but we are going to get better.
''This is a team that has to continue growing up, and we did a little bit more of that against Bishop Donahue.''
Of the Wildcats' 54 points, 52 were scored by freshmen.