Riders Run Past Bruins

WEIRTON – If anyone arrived late to the Carl Hammill Field House, they missed the torrid pace that ignited the boys’ basketball contest between Weir and Brooke before the second half finished with a fizzle.

The Red Riders posted 27 points in the first quarter en route to a 68-54 victory against the Bruins on Tuesday night.

The energy Weir opened with was clearly in response to its two previous lackluster performances, losing twice.

”We were really upset with how we played last week,” Weir coach Mike Granato stated. ”The kids took it to heart. They got a lot of extra work in the last few days.”

During the first quarter, the crowd was brought to its feet when Harley Mills added an exclamation point to the team’s impressive play. The 6-foot-7 center came free down the court and flushed a one-handed dunk.

Mills lead all scorers with 22 points.

Dave Reitter quickly called a timeout as his Bruins tried to fight against the momentum and pace Weir pushed. They responded with 20 points in the first quarter.

”Weir High is a good basketball team,” Reitter said. ”Freddie Jones does a nice job controlling their offense. He was getting the ball to the right people at the right times. When he gave them the opportunity, they put it in the basket.”

The combination of Jones, Tyler Salko, and Mike Drizake suffocated Brooke and continued to run the floor.

Weir came out pressing the ball.

The second quarter was not as lively on the scoreboard, but Weir extended its lead, outscoring Brooke, 15-8.

”That comes about when you pressure the ball and get a lot of steals,” Granato said. ”When you are shooting layups, shot selection is an easy thing to deal with.

”To be successful we have to run with the ball. We did a much better job getting it into the low post. I thought our shot selection was better (Tuesday) than it’s been all year.”

Brooke’s best play of the evening came in the third quarter. It was the only stanza the Bruins were able to outscore the Red Riders.

Sean Geary hit two of his four 3-point field goals as he finished with 17 points.

”In the second half, we played much better,” Reitter said. ”We played them a little tougher. We talked about our toughness, or lack of it, on the floor.

”We pointed out that only a couple kids were playing hard, and the rest of the kids had to feed off of them. I thought they did try and do that the second half.

”You have to hit the open shot. When you get a good look, you have to make it to cut the lead.”