A Night Of Rematches

WHEELING – Late Wednesday evening, Tom Wise finally turned the tape off.

The Bishop Donahue coach had seen enough and he was tired.

“Tired of watching David Park and Chase Harler scoring all those points,” Wise said, laughing.

The Bishops (17-6) will get another up close and personal look at the two Maroon Knights’ stars when Bishop Donahue (17-6) plays Wheeling Central (20-3) in the Class A, Region One, Section One championship game at 7 p.m. at Brooke High School.

Wheeling Central knocked off Bishop Donahue 63-58 in the Undo’s Tournament at Wheeling Jesuit University Dec. 27.

Bishop punched its ticket to the championship game with a 48-45 victory against Magnolia while Wheeling Central knocked off Madonna 70-67 with three free throws by Park with 1.5 seconds left.

“They are a tough matchup,” Wise said. “They both have very different games, both are very dangerous (shooters) and both can pass the ball so well. I really like what they do. They have an outstanding team and those two kids are two of the best players you’re going to see.”

Park, who had 29 against Madonna, is averaging 17.6 points and 11.1 rebounds while Harler, who had 15, is averaging 20.2.

Lavonte Hampton and Jared Yates will draw the assignment of covering the duo.

They have come up big in this spot before. They combined to hold Preston Boswell to seven points in their sectional victory against the Blue Eagles.

“They did a great job of holding him down,” Wheeling Central coach Mel Stephens said. “To do what they did says a lot about the kind of players they are on defense and we understand that. We think we can do some things to help Chase and David get near their average, but we are going to have to get some help from some other people.”

Among those are Alonzo Manns (12.5), Boyd Bibey (a 3-point specialist off the bench), Thomas Stanley, Jon Droginske, Brian Campbell and Joey John.

“I’m not saying we need just point contributions, but guys coming in who will make hustle plays,” Stephens said. “We didn’t do that well against Madonna. If we don’t get a better effort than that we will be in for a long night.”

Central has its own matchup problem with big Chaice Truex. The Bishops big man is averaging 18.4 points and 10.9 rebounds.

“The big kid is a force down there,” Stephens said. “He is a big, strong kid who knows how to play in the post. He is good and getting position and sealing off and he is also getting a lot of offensive rebounds for putbacks.

“They have a lot of guys on the outside who compliment him well. They have four or five options who can score points and on any night get them 15-20 points.”

Among those are Bryce Jones and Taylor Straughan, both of whom average double figures, and Jesse Padlow, who is just under double figures.”

“We won’t have a hard time getting ready for this game,” Wise said. They have a great team, great players, they play hard, they are the No. 1 team in the state. But I think we have a pretty darn good team, too.”

Wheeling Central has played a game at Brooke, scimmaging the Bruins there in early December.

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Paden City enjoys playing at Magnolia High School.

The Wildcats are 3-0 there this season, beating Magnolia on a night when they shot 72 percent, they beat River in the New Martinsville Rotary Classic and, earlier this week knocked off Trinity in a Class A, Region One, Section Two matchup.

Paden City (12-11) will get a chance to make it 4-0 at the gym when it battles Clay-Battelle for the Section Two championship.

The success at Magnolia isn’t something new.

“I was talking to Coach (long-time Paden City coach Bob) Burton tonight and he was telling me even his Paden City kids loved to play at Magnolia,” ooach Fred King said. “So it has some tradition in that regard. I don’t know what it is. There is something about it. It’s a great floor, it’s a great sectional site for years and it is shooter friendly.

“Whether you are playing with a peach basket or a rim, though, you still have to beat the other team.”

Clay-Battelle (18-5) has played a rugged Class A schedule, King said, much like his own team. Additionally, like Paden City, they have size.

Cannon Brummage is 6-foot-6, Jarret Hockenberry 6-4 and Tristan Haught 6-2. Haught and Jarrett Roush are three-year starters.

Paden City has size in 6-6 Kennedy Cain, who averages 21.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Zach Heasley averages 13.9, 7.0 rebounds and 4.3 assists and Luke Cooper averages 11.3 and 6.3 rebounds.

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Wheeling Park Coach Michael Jebbia isn’t going to argue that he doesn’t enjoy home court advantage.

His Patriots (17-6) host Parkersburg South (17-6)at 7 p.m. tonight at the Palace on the Hill.

“It’s good to be at home, but once the game starts, it’s just a basketball game,” Jebbia said. “They know us, we know them. There aren’t any secrets. We have a lot of respect for them. Mike (Fallon) has an outstanding program. I know this. We have to contain them. They hit 11 3s on us at Park. They hit 11 3s on Brooke (in a sectional win Wednesday). We can’t let them get free for 11 3s.”

The two teams split the regular-season series, Parkersburg winning at home 71-65 and Wheeling Park winning on the hill, 65-63.

While Parkersburg South has a talented unit, Jebbia noted how well Ty Dobson is playing of late.

“Since our game here, when he had 20 points, he has really been hot,” Jebbia said. “He had 19 against Brooke. Five 3s. The kid is a great player.”

Park will likely try to contain him with either Trenton Smith of Elijah Bell, who will come off the bench.

Phil Bledeoe got his 300th rebound of the season against Parkersburg Wednesday and he is now averaging 12.3 points and 13.0 rebounds per game.

Ryan Reinbeau leads Park with an average of 18.6 and Toddy Goodwin-Rowe, who had a big game in the Patriots victory against Parkersburg with 15 points, is averaging 8.5. Smith averages 8.3 and Chalmer Moffett 6.2 and 5.4 rebounds.