By NICK BEDWAY
For The Intelligencer
WHEELING - Scorching the nets by hitting a a torrid 54 percent from the floor in the first half, Wheeling Jesuit elevated its record back to the .500 mark at 5-5 in rolling past visiting Washington (D.C.) Adventist 94-67 on Tuesday night at the Alma Grace McDonough Center.
Seniors Recardo Gaddy and Joe Prati sparked the early assault by combining for 34 points as the Cardinals raced out to a 48-20 halftime lead and they were in front by 41 points during the final 20 minutes in securing a repeat victory against the Shock.
The rematch turned out much different than the first meeting when Wheeling Jesuit pulled out a 104-98 overtime decision on Washington Adventist's home floor.
''They play in a crazy environment,'' said Cardinals coach Danny Sancomb, pointing out that Adventist is 3-3 in front of its rabid home fans while the defeat was the Shock's ninth on the road without a victory.
The difference was Wheeling Jesuit's ability to make shots, especially during first half when it connected on 19 of 35 attempts including seven 3-pointers.
Gaddy drained four triples on the way to scoring 20 of his 22 points by the intermission. Prati hit two trifectas and scored 14 points in the opening half before finishing with 23 points.
The Cardinals also got double-figures from two players off the bench, led by freshman Eric Siefert's 15 points, along with a game-high 14 rebounds and five assists. Andre Harris tossed in 12 points and also was charted with five assists. Ben Siefert, Eric's senior brother, finished with nine points, along with nine assists and eight rebounds.
''We shot the ball and defended really well,'' Sancomb said. ''I'd like to think our defense had something to do with their poor shooting night. But I was also pleased that we moved the ball around, got good looks and made shots.
The 6-foot-2 Gaddy scored 11 of his team's first 14 points, three times burying triples and adding a layup as Wheeling's transition game was also crackling hot in the early going. Prati had an early bucket on a strong move to the basket while Ben Siefert added a free throw to help the Cardinals into an early 14-4 advantage.
With the Shock unable to get anything going on the offensive end, Wheeling Jesuit went on a 12-2 run opening the lead to 23-6. Eric Siefert's first 3 put the home team advantage at 26-9 just under 10 minutes left before the break.
Prati had nine points in the second half, while Ben Siefert, Eric Siefert and Harris scored eight each as the Cardinals blew in front 74-43 before the Shock finally started to find the range.
Adventist's Lee Manley tossed in nine of his 14 points in the second half, while Guiressi Grimes, Joshua Adeyeye and Martin Wilson contributed eight points each.
Adeyeye led the visitors scoring with 18 points, while with 10 each were Grimes and Wilson.
''We've been playing pretty good ball the last three games,'' Sancomb said. ''We have to be ready to go hard starting on Thursday.
''To be successful we have to be a little bit better rebounding the basketball, play more physical and keep improving our offensive execution.''