McMECHEN - As the old saying goes, "when you have have a horse, you ride it.
Bishop Donahue Coach Tom Wise has a horse in the paint and Saturday afternoon he rode junior big man Chaice Truex to a dominating performance that helped propel the Bishops to a surprisingly easy victory against visiting Charleston Catholic.
Truex was more than the Irish could handle, finishing his career day with 35 points and 21 rebounds as Donahue burst out to a 16-point lead after a quarter and never looked back in pounding Charleston Catholic, 80-58, in a very physical contest on Dino's Court at Bishop Donahue High School.
Wise's club improved to 9-4, while the Irish fell to 8-4 after a lost weekend in the Northern Panhandle that also included a setback at Wheeling Central on Friday night.
"I look up there and I really can't believe what just happened," Wise said while staring at the scoreboard. "I am very happy with this effort and I am hoping that maybe we are finally over the hump.
"We have battled and battled some very good basketball teams so far this season, and this is just a very nice win for us."
With Truex scoring 13 points, including a 3-pointer, and ripping down six rebounds in the first quarter, Donahue used a 22-4 burst and eventually grabbed a 27-11 advantage.
A late 7-2 rally in the second gave the hosts a 42-25 lead at the break. The closest the Irish managed to get the rest of the way was within 12 at 51-39 in the third, just before Donahue put up the final five for a 56-39 score with eight minutes to play.
"We were able to get the ball to Chaice inside frequently and it really paid off," Wise added. "And he dominated the glass on the other end and did a real good job limiting them to just one shot.
"Honestly, I have to say that was the best game that Chaice has played in our last seven or eight.
"Actually, we watched them play at Central (Friday) and we expected a physical, kind of grinding game and that is what we got. I really want to know when the last time that team gave up 80 points was.
"I am really glad we got this one, it's pretty awesome. The kid are pumped up and they really came out ready to play."
Junior Jesse Padlow added 16 for the Bishops while Lavonte Hampton scored nine and freshman Taylor Straughn finished with eight while battling foul problems.
The Bishops were 23 of 45 from the field and made 47 trips to the free-throw line, cashing in on 31 of those. With Truex leading the way, the hosts grabbed a 38-18 advantage off the glass, but committed 16 turnovers, one more than the Irish. In the end, Truex finished with three more rebounds than the entire Charleston Catholic team.
Garrett McCarty led a balanced scoring attack with 12 points for the Irish while Russell Miller and Nick George had 11 each and Aaron Persily chipped in nine.