Central Runs By Cameron
CAMERON — It was not exactly a textbook first quarter for Wheeling Central. However, after a sloppy first eight minutes, the Maroon Knights were able to get back to their style of play as they scored 31 points in the second quarter to secure a victory Tuesday night over Cameron, 77-44.
“We knew coming in that Cameron has some weapons,” Wheeling Central coach Mel Stephens said. “I think at the beginning, they came out and started really well. They had a little bit of trouble with the press, but when they got it in the half court, they were able to execute it a little bit. We just felt like we could wear them down a little bit. The second quarter, we went out on a run, created some easier chances for us.”
Did they. The Maroon Knights scored 12 of the first 13 points in the second quarter and made it 26-9 with 5:51 remaining in the half. While the offense was on fire, the defense was stepping up as well. Along with the press, Wheeling Central was able to force Cameron into contested jump shots. The Maroon Knights limited the Dragons’ second-chance opportunities as they were held to one offensive board the first half.
“That’s always a key for us,” Stephens said. “We think if we can play good, solid defense, we have a chance against anybody. We want to try to force them to take contested jump shots and rebound. That’s the key.”
After two sets of free throws made by the Dragons, Wheeling Central went on another small spurt (7-0) to increase its lead to 33-13 with 3:51 left in the first half.
And as soon as the Dragons cut it to 15 points, the Maroon Knights reeled off 10 of the final 12 of the half.
“For the first quarter, we thought we played pretty good defense,” Cameron coach Tom Hart said. “We weren’t executing on offense really well, but I credit their defense on that. The second quarter, we didn’t make very good decisions in regards to their press. We weren’t looking up the floor or hitting the open guy. We were playing side-to-side and backwards. You can’t do that, especially against a caliber of Wheeling Central.”
The Maroon Knights again found success with sharing the wealth as four players reached in double figures. Ryan Reasbeck continued his impressive freshman campaign with a game-high 20 points, while both Anthony Robbins and Clayton Abate both contributed with 12.
Jalen Creighton scored eight in the second quarters en route to a 10-point night.
“I thought we attacked them a little bit,” Stephens said. “I thought we made good decisions and were able to get the ball to the open guy for good shots.”
Aidan Lucey led the way for the Dragons with 14 points, going 11 of 12 at the free-throw line. Dillon Meintel added 10 points.
“This is just another game on our schedule,” Hart said. “This doesn’t define us or define our program. It’s a marathon. We got two big games coming up with Bridgeport and Magnolia this weekend. We got to get back into the gym and we got to get ready for those two games coming up. We still have a long way to go.”