WEIRTON - Despite having nearly as many turnovers as field goals, Madonna went out to an early lead and left little doubt which Weirton team is the city champion. The Blue Dons dominated the scoreboard in winning their third straight city title, 55-27, on Friday night at the Dube Dome.
For a team that's grasping for some positives, the winless Red Riders (0-7) did have more turnovers than field goals (13 to 10), but their 13 miscues were far less than they've had in the previous six games.
For the Blue Dons (2-3), the victory snapped a three-game losing streak.
"I really think the game was won on the boards," Madonna coach George Vargo said. "We out rebounded them 37-8 and that was the big difference. We're a much bigger team with (Nate) Guio, (Tyler) Ewusiak, (James) Carnes, and (Josh) Martin. That's a pretty big team out there."
No one in that group is shorter than 6-foot-2, but as Vargo talked about his big guys, it was junior Wil Bowser, who at 6-0, led all rebounders with eight.
For the Red Riders, it was the same old bug-a-boo that has plagued them so far in the early season - putting the ball through the hoop.
"It's frustrating," Weir coach Mike Granato said. "It's more frustrating, at times for me, whenever you can see on the kids faces that they're trying to squeeze the air out of the ball, so to speak.
Weir's Josh Groves was the only Red Rider in double figures. The 6-3 senior swished 12 points through the net including an early 3-pointer.
Carnes, a sophomore who played for the Red Riders a year ago but transferred to Madonna during the off season, scored a career high 16 points to lead all scorers.
"This was a great game for Carnes," Vargo said. "Any time you transfer from a school and you are playing against your buddies from that school, it was a tough game for him emotionally.