WHEELING - The Linsly girls' basketball team may be disappointed about not qualifying for next week's Ohio Valley Athletic Conference 2A tournament, but the its play certainly didn't show it Thursday night at the Stifel Field House.
With freshman standout Morgan Brunner doing her usual thing by scoring 20 points and J.J. Jackson coming off the bench to add 10, Linsly (9-8) never trailed during a repeat 63-30 triumph against Bishop Donahue.
''It was real disappointing," Coach Erica Hall said of the near miss of capturing an OVAC berth. ''We had a tough game against Trinity and I was hoping that if we won it, we would be able to get in but we came up one point short.''
Bishop Donahue’s Kelsey Schau (13) goes for a shot while defended by Linsly’s Rosey Raths (20) during their game Thursday night.
For Bishop Donahue (5-13), the setback followed a familiar script.
''Turnovers, missed shots and rebounding,'' were the main items Coach Don Gillis talked about. ''We did not do anything right. Linsly has a very good team and they intimidated the heck out of us.''
Bishop Donahue had more turnovers (seven) than points (six) in the first quarter as the Cadets scored 11 straight points while exploding to a 20-4 lead before the visitors' Kat Polinski closed out the opening eight minutes with a basket.
Rosey Raths got Linsly off and running early with a drive to the rim for a layin, followed by Miriam Nwachukwu's stickback goal. After Ali Bauer's baseline bucket put the Lady Bishops on the board, Brunner's dish to the right wing ended in a three-point basket by Krista Emch.
Donahue's Morgan Carroll rebounded a teammate's missed shot and put the ball off the glass into the net to make it a 7-4 game before Linsly began its 11-0 run with another inside goal by Nwachukwu.
Back-to-back Bishop Donahue turnovers resulted in run-out goals by Brunner. Jackson then stole the ball and midcourt and sailed in for another layup and a 15-4 advantage.
Brunner then set her feet and drained the first of her two 3-pointers on the night and she added two free throws a few seconds later after the Bishops again turned the ball over.
Selena Ghaphery struggled from the floor while being the main focus of the Linsly defense, but she began the second quarter with a floater from in the lane to pull the Bishops to within 20-8. However, Brunner immediately countered with a triple and picked up another assist when she delivered an nice pass to Raths. Emch's bank shot for a triple from the top of the circle gave the Cadets their first 20-point lead8.
Brunner's seven points and five from Emch in the quarter extended the halftime advantage to 40-11.
Linsly put the game in cruise control the entire second half as both teams emptied their benches. The lead was 49-19 entering the final quarter.
Donahue, just 12 of 47 from the field, did not have a double-digit scorer. Bauer finished with nine points, while Carroll's six points were next on the list.
When asked about the high-scoring Brunner's willingness to share the basketball by finding an open teammate, Hall responded, ''We play as a team and that says a lot about all of our girls.
''Everyone can take credit for the good things we do and they also take responsibility for the things we need to improve on."