John Marshall Boys Defeat Weir in Home Opener
MOUNDSVILLE — In a high-tempo game with a high-energy atmosphere, Coach Chad Clutter watched his Monarchs pull out a 61-54 victory over Weir in its home opener Saturday night inside the Moundsville Field House.
Adam Miller paced JM with 15 points and Derrick Derrow dropped in 11 in the victory.
“It was great for the kids to be in a high-energy game with the crowd into the game and pull something out,” Clutter said. “Our guys started doing the things we do in practice down the stretch and they did it well (Saturday).”
The Monarchs held a 46-41 advantage after three quarters but the Red Riders (1-1) opened the fourth quarter with four straight points when a double technical was called after some shoving took place.
John Marshall (1-1) proceeded to reel off an 8-2 run over the next four minutes to extend its lead to 54-47 with 1:30 to play.
Weir track star Sebastian Spencer gave his squad hope with a 3-pointer with 24 seconds left to cut the deficit to three, 57-54, but Justin Frohnapfel and Cole Gilbert each knocked down a pair of free throws to wrap up the win for the Monarchs down the stretch.
However, both teams had their troubles from the charity stripe as they combined to miss 26 free throws with JM going 16-for-28 and Weir shooting 9 of 23.
“Missed free throws,” Weir coach Mike Granato said was the difference in the game. “I think at one point in the first half we were 4 of 16. You don’t beat anybody with that, particularly on the road.
“Give John Marshall credit. Chad and his kids played hard and came back hard.”
Neither team was able to break away early as the Monarchs led 16-14 after one but the Red Riders caught fire in the second behind five points from Spencer, Elijah Gillette and Tyler Kelly each to take a 34-28 halftime lead.
In the third it was the Monarchs who heated up as Izac Babiczuk netted six, including a buzzer-beater to help his teammates retake the lead, 46-41 entering the final frame.
“After coming out of the gates so poorly against Oak Glen, it was definitely a mental focus to come out quick and we did that,” Clutter said. “During the game we were always within striking distance and both teams kept battling, so that was great.”
Brodie McUmar and Tanner Mikula paced Weir with 11 points each and Spencer tallied 10.