John Marshall Halts Losing Skid
Monarchs beat Weir for first victory of season
MOUNDSVILLE — Looking for its first win of the season, Coach Brock Melko’s John Marshall girls’ basketball team turned up the defense and kept its composure during a couple of Weir runs Wednesday night.
In the end that was exactly what it took to snap a five-game season opening losing skid.
Junior Shay Straughn scored a game-high 20 points and the Monarchs fought off a Red Riders third-quarter rally with a 14-0 run that extended into the fourth and proved to be enough to capture a 62-44 victory at the John Marshall Fieldhouse.
The Monarchs led 8-2 and 11-4 early on before a Bailey Stead 3-pointer and a basket from Leah Maley got the Red Riders (2-5) right back into things at 11-9. But a 9-1 run to close out the quarter had the hosts enjoying a 19-10 advantage after one.
That lead grew to 31-17 late in the half on a pair of Anna Blake hoops, the second off of a steal, before the Riders cut the deficit to nine, 32-23, at the break.
Turnovers haunted Coach Rick Stead’s Weir squad all night long, finishing with 34, twice as many as John Marshall, but especially in the first half where it finished with 20. If the Red Riders had anything to hang their hats on, it was a 17-8 rebounding edge.
However, while the turnovers continued mounting in the second half, the Monarchs turned that deficit on the glass around, out-rebounding their guests by a 21-8 margin over the final two quarters.
“Rebounding is all effort,” Melko said. “Whoever is playing harder is going to be getting the rebounds, and I felt like we came out and played harder in the second half.”
Baskets from Sophia Mikula and Taylor Webster to start the third quarter cut the deficit to 32-27, and after John Marshall got the lead back to nine at 38-29, it was that same duo that scored the next five to get Weir within four at 38-34. It was the closest it had been since 12-9 midway through the first period.
That only seemed to wake the Monarchs up with Ivy Henderson, Avery Derrow and Straughn capping a quarter-ending 7-0 run that pushed the count to 45-34 with eight minutes to play.
John Marshall didn’t slow down, finishing off a 14-0 rally with seven straight to open the fourth to made it a 52-34 spread that all but put things away. In all, from the 3:38 mark of the third quarter on the Monarchs outscored the Riders by a 24-10 margin.
“They are a well-coached team and they never quit,” Melko said. “But we also had so many chances to extend the lead, and it is very frustrating to watch the kids miss so many free throws and lay-ups.
“At the same time, those are things a coach can live with because they are playing hard. It’s when they aren’t playing hard that you have to be upset. We will just get into practice and continue putting up shots.
“We had a few players that had tough nights. We have to improve on some things and we have to quit letting missed shots dictate our energy levels.”
Derrow backed Straughn with 13 points while Anna and Abby Blake evenly divided 18 markers for the winners. Junior Kaitlyn Groves pulled down a game-high eight rebounds.
Bailey Stead paced Weir with 15 points while Mikula chipped in with 10.
“Part of the problem with us at times is the fact that we have two freshmen and a sophomore on the court,” Rick Stead said. “And while I really appreciate the enthusiasm they bring, I have to pull the reins back a little at times and slow them down.
“We have to work on our maturity levels on passing and taking care of the basketball. I am very proud of the girls, especially where they are right now compared to where they were at this point last year.
“Brock has some good players and some girls that can shoot the ball, but we gave them entirely too many putbacks and we just don’t get many of our own. Turnovers killed us, but at the same time I believe that was probably the best third quarter we played all season, that is usually a bad time for us.
“I think Bailey (Stead) continues to do a good job as a leader, Mikula always gives us 100 percent and I can’t say enough about the efforts of Maley and Aperfine. It also made a little bit of a difference for us that we had three girls sitting out (Wednesday), that made it tough to keep up with them.”
Weir shot 46 percent from the floor (17-37) while John Marshall shot 33 percent (19-57). The Monarchs canned 21 of 38 free throws while the Riders were just 8 of 15.
Wheeling Central 73, Magnolia 44
WHEELING — Taylor Duplaga scored 19 points, including reaching the 1,000-point milestone as Wheeling Central routed Magnolia.
Eden Gainer paced the Maroon Knights (7-1) with 20 points, Kaylee Reinbeau added 16 and Hannah White scored 10.
Kyndra Pilant led Magnolia with 14 points, while Mady Winters scored 13.
Linsly 96, John Marshall 69
MOUNDSVILLE — Linsly had a pair of multiple winners in Alejandro Rodriguez and Kaleb Nuckles-Polen as the Cadets topped John Marshall.
Rodriguez won the 50 freestyle (23.86) and 100 breaststroke (1:10.45), while Nuckles-Polen was victorious in the 100 freestyle (54.99) and 100 backstroke (1:05.44).
Joshua Schultz (200 IM, 2:35.27) and Peter Kang (100 butterfly, 1:08.87) also won for Linsly.
Creed Kidney picked up wins for the Monarchs in the 200 (2:06.94) and 500 freestyles (5:53.11).
Linsly 98, John Marshall 66
MOUNDSVILLE — Linsly was victorious in all but one event in earning a victory against John Marshall.
Eve Ridenhour won the 200 (2:15.11) and 500 freestyle (6:12.35); Sian Longley was victorious in the 100 butterfly (1:07.40) and 100 breaststroke (1:14.89) and Sydney West took the 100 freestyle (59.12) and 100 backstroke (1:04.17).
Eve Lei was the winner in the 200 IM with a time of 2:38.12
Laura Siler was the lone winner for the Monarchs, winning the 50 freestyle 27.44