Jesuit Hammers Concord
By DAVE MORRISON
WHEELING – As the temperature continued to fall outside, Wheeling Jesuit heated up the Alma Grace McDonough Center Monday night with a 100-72 Mountain East Conference victory against visiting Concord.
All five of the Cardinals’ starters scored in double figures and Jesuit shot a sizzling 52.9 percent for the game (54.1 in the second half) to improve to 6-3 (4-2 in the MEC).
“We really needed that,” Wheeling Jesuit coach Dan Sancomb said. “We didn’t play well yesterday and to bounce back and have a performance like that was huge.”
Sancomb was referring to Sunday’s 84-72 loss to the University of Virginia-Wise.
“I hate to say it, but we were a little rusty,” Sancomb said. “Sunday was our first game since Dec.7 and we just didn’t have the energy we needed to have. We tried everything. We brought in officials, played intrasuqad scrimmages to try and stay fresh. Tonight, I thought we had more energy, right from the start.”
After Cam Shannon’s jumper gave Concord what would be its last lead of the game at 9-8, on a short jumper with 13:35 remaining, Jesuit when on a long run, outscoring the Mountain Lions 21-2.
Former Magnolia High School star Mark Winters started the run with a 3-pointer from the left baseline and by the time in was finished, six different players had contributed to the surge that gave the Cardinals a 29-11 lead.
After Taylor Smith scored inside for Concord to stop the bleeding initially, the Cardinals rolled off 14 unanswered points, striking inside repeatedly with Eric Seifert, Kyle Ritz and Matt Stewart contributing four points each.
After that barrage, the Cardinals went on another 10-0 run, making the score 39-16.
“There were a couple times when we couldn’t stop their run in the first half and it cost us,” Concord (7-7) coach Ken McBride said. “They shot the ball really well. That is a credit to Danny’s team.”
The 10-minute sequence put an end to any drama.
Even when Concord’s Aaron Miller hit three straight 3s it was still an 18 point game.
Jesuit led 43-22 at the half.
“I thought we played really good defense, especially in the first 28, 29 minutes of the game,” Sancomb said. “We limited Concord to one shot. We took good shots and we made good decisions with the basketball on the other end.”
Justin Fritts led the way with 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Andre Harris turned in a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Eric Seifert had 16 points and Tim Goff and Matt Stewart had 10 points apiece. Kyle Ritz also added 12 points off the bench.
In the second half the Cardinals put the game away by making 20 of 37 shots from the floor.
Jesuit had assists on 24 of its 36 made field goals (67 percent) and eight players logged at least one assists, and seven had at least two. Concord had just eight assists in the game.
Aaron Miller had 15 points to lead Concord, while Cam Shannon and Ryan Meadows had 12 each. A.J. Williams had 10 points.
McBride, whose team nearly upset the nation’s No. 1 team, West Liberty Saturday, it was more of the same. The Mountain Lions (5-7) are on a current four-game losing streak.
“Saturday’s game was just close enough to make you sick,” McBride said. “We are still a team that can’t put back-to-back good efforts together and that is frustrating. We are a young team, but when you are 12 games into a season that young team excuse has got to go. As a coach you accept that there will be peaks and valleys when you have a young team. We haven’t found a solution but we are going to keep working until we do.”
In the women’s game, Wheeling Jesuit picked up a 70-55 win over the Mountain Lions.
Taneka Lewis led a trio of players in double figures with 12 while Breanna Butler and Kylie Frizell had 10.
The Cardinals led 39-14 at the half.
Only five players scored for Concord, led by Andrea Bertrand’s 24. Sissy Wagner chipped in 13.