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Girls' Basketball: Central Tops Linsly, 62-29

February 4, 2012
By JOSH STROPE , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - With Linsly's lack of size inside, Wheeling Central coach Penn Kurtz didn't fear the Cadets trying to do too much posting up.

Instead, the Maroon Knights went out of their element and played mostly zone, forcing Linsly to make shots from away from the basket. The result: Linsly shot 8 of 53 (15 percent) and Wheeling Central rolled to a 62-29 victory Friday night at the Wheeling Central gymnasium.

''Linsly is very young and have some real talent, but being young, they are a little inconsistent,'' Kurtz said. ''J.J. Jackson made a couple deep 3s and that was about all they had early.

''They really don't have an inside game and we knew that. We got in better rhythm in the second half and made some better passes. Emily (Wizba) and Colleen (McCormick) do what they always do.''

Cassie Sorge came off the bench in the second half to hit three 3-pointers and led the Maroon Knights on Senior Night with 14 points.

Emily Bucon (14) and McCormick (13) also scored in double figures for Wheeling Central (16-3), which play host to River on Monday in the semifinals of the OVAC Tournament.

''We don't know a lot about River but we know we are going to have to come out and play hard and maybe we will get another shot at Shadyside,'' Kurtz said.

Should Wheeling Central play Shadyside in the Class 2A Final next week at OUE, the Tigers will first have to get past Linsly (8-11) on Monday.

The Cadets' loss was the third in a row for Coach Erica Hall's squad. It's not exactly the momentum she was hoping for against one of the top teams in the valley.

''Anything can happen and the one thing I can say is that the girls keep fighting hard,'' Hall said. ''We have a lot to look forward to in our future. We know going in Monday that Shadyside is an outstanding basketball team and they have some awesome 3-point shooters.''

Wheeling Central opened with back-to-back baskets by McCormick and a layup by Emily Bucon and never trailed.

Linsly didn't go away easy in the first half, but never could force a tie or take a lead, getting the deficit down to one point on one occasion.

Wheeling Central led by three at the end of the first quarter and nine at halftime. Jackson did her best to keep the Cadets in the game, scoring 11 points in the first half.

Those were her only points as she went 0-for-7 in the second half.

''You can't rely on that and we don't have that inside presence and that hurts us,'' Hall said. ''When we are forced to win a game outside ... we have to find a way to get those easy buckets inside and we didn't do that.''

Wheeling Central broke the game open in the third quarter as Sorge drained two from the outside.

The Maroon Knights went on cruise control in the final quarter as Kurtz brought jayvee players in for some valuable minutes and gave his six seniors - Sorge, Ashley Martin, Julia Palmer, Bri Robbins, Wizba, and Angela Sparachane - a celebratory sendoff.

''It was really important to all of them,'' Kurtz said. ''The group that played at Corpus Christi together - Emily Wizba, Ashley Martin, Julia Palmer, Cassie and Bri. They have been playing together since the fifth grade and it meant a lot to them.

''Angela Sparachane just fits right in there with them and it was just fun to watch them have some success.''

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