Central Cruises Past Beallsville
Gainer, Reinbeau combine for 51 of Knights’ 71 points
WHEELING — While Beallsville’s girls’ basketball team was playing at Wheeling Central on Monday night, the Blue Devils’ minds may have still been on last Saturday’s Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class A championship victory at Ohio University Eastern.
And with that being the case, the Maroon Knights’ junior dynamic duo of Eden Gainer and Kaylee Reinbeau made them pay the price.
Gainer scored a game-high 31 points while Reinbeau added 20 points and eight rebounds as Wheeling Central got an early lead, held off a few Beallsville charges and eventually cruised to a 71-56 verdict on Coach Skip Prosser Court in East Wheeling.
On the whole, the game came down to Gainer and Reinbeau’s scoring and the Knights’ (11-9) defense. Meanwhile, Coach Tori Jarrett’s Blue Devils (17-4) were able to stay in the game with good rebounding, especially on the offensive end, but struggled making shots deep in the paint.
“We didn’t have any problem getting open looks, but we just weren’t able to make lay-ups,” Jarrett said. “Overall we just weren’t ready to play and couldn’t get anything to go.
“I guess if anything it is good to get this kind of game out of the way now before the sectionals come around. I remember playing here and it is always a tough place to play. We cut into the lead a few times, but we were never able to get over the hump.”
A telling statistic was the fact that both teams were able to convert 23 field goals on the night. However, Beallsville’s came on 72 shot attempts while Central’s was on 48. The Maroon Knights also were 18 of 23 from the line while the Devils were 4 of 8.
Wheeling Central took a quick lead on a Reinbeau basket and Marissa Horan free throw and never trailed. Junior Ashley Howell, who finished with team high’s of 28 points and 13 rebounds, cut the deficit to 3-2 before the hosts scored the next 10 points.
Central led 13-9 after a quarter before scoring the initial 11 of the second period, led by a pair of 3-pointers from Gainer. But the Knights were unable to put their visitors away as Beallsville closed the half on a 14-6 run to cut the margin back to seven at 30-23.
Coach Penn Kurtz’s squad got the lead back to 11 on two occasions early in the third before the Blue Devils (17-4) twice cut it back to five and trailed by four late before a long-range Horan bomb just before the horn made it 48-41 after three.
A Jaydn Gabel basket to open the fourth made it 48-43 but that was the closest the visitors manage to get the rest of the way with Central hitting 7 of 12 field goal attempts and finishing 7 of 7 at the line over the final eight minutes to pull away.
“This is the tallest team I have had here, but for some reason we seem to get out-rebounded every game,” Kurtz said shaking his head. “And that is something that we have to fix in the next week before sectionals roll around.
“I felt like our defense did an outstanding job and we need Eden (Gainer) and Kaylee (Reinbeau) to score like that to be successful. Tristen White also came through on the boards in the fourth quarter, but we need everybody on the glass the entire game.
“Rebounding is a mindset. We practice it all the time and we have the height to get it done and hopefully we are able to start doing it better.”
Horan added nine points for the Maroon Knights, who turned the ball over 18 times, one more than their guests and were out-rebounded by a 35-31 margin, which included a big fourth quarter on the glass.
While Wheeling Central shot less than 50 percent for the night Beallsville managed to hit just 32 percent of its shots, with over half their misses coming from within three feet of the basket.
Ashlie Louden backed Howell with 15 points while Gabel chipped in 10.