Linsly Takes Down St. John

Photo by Kyle Lutz Linsly’s Dylan Harrison (20) attempts a 3-pointer while St. John’s Aaron Rataiczak (2) defends during Wednesday night’s game.

WHEELING — Taking advantage of early turnovers and a huge rebounding edge, Linsly easily erased any ill-effects of a two-week layoff Wednesday night against visiting Bellaire St. John.

Coach James Wallace’s Cadets used four double-figure scorers, a 40-20 advantage off the glass and 22 Fighting Irish turnovers to open up an 11-point first quarter lead before cruising to an 83-54 victory over St. John at Steifel Fieldhouse.

The win moves Linsly to 5-1 on the campaign, with a trip to Beallsville scheduled for this evening while Matt Heusel’s club drops to 5-6.

“We had not played in two weeks and were coming off a huge win over Wheeling Park in our last game, so the biggest thing was to go out and try to regain the momentum that we had,” Wallace said. “And while I am definitely pleased with the overall effort, there is still room for improvement.”

Linsly raced to a 20-9 lead after the opening quarter, with 14 of those points coming off the bench from Warren Saunders (6), Chaz Ghaphery (4) and Trevin Tush (4).

With a 21-9 rebounding edge at the break, and plenty of second chance opportunities in the first two frames, the Cadets were able to build the lead to 43-20, that included a finishing 10-0 spurt. The margin grew to 67-30 with eight minutes to play.

“Bellaire St. John really plays hard, and they actually forced us to see some things that we need to improve on,” Wallace said. “But I really liked the way we shared the ball (Wednesday), the guys were super unselfish all game long.

“Hitting the glass was also a big deal and our ability to work the ball into the high post and the block. This team has so much heart and hustle, which is going to help take us where we need to be because we have plenty of talent.”

Saunders finished with a game-high 18 points for Linsly while Ghaphery also added 13 off the pine. Greysen Archbold scored 12 points and Dylon Harrson chipped in 10. Overall, the Cadets received 49 points off the bench while St. John had none.

Linsly also had 35 field goals on the night, including 10 in each of the first three quarters of play.

The Fighting Irish did have a pair of players share game-high honors with seniors Cameron Opic and Cody Hamilton evenly dividing 46 markers, all but eight for the team.

“We dug a big hole early, but you can’t just throw the ball to them,” Heusel said. “Sometimes I think we see size on the other side and it backs us down some. We definitely need to have more fight from everybody. We fought, but I didn’t think we fought as hard as we could have.

“This team could have battled harder, but that is all on me for not having them ready to play (Wednesday). We don’t have many guys, but we still battled out there at times. The goal is to go out there and battle for a complete 32 minutes. We are not there yet, but I hope we can get there.”

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