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Wheeling Central Girls Hold Off Linsly

Reinbeau nets 21 for Knights

Photo by Josh Strope Wheeling Central’s Elle Canestraro (23) drives to the basket as Linsly’s Brinley Steen (53) defends during Wednesday’s game on Coach Skip Prosser Court.

WHEELING — Coaches preach that “turnovers will kill you.”

Wheeling Central used its pressure defense early and often Wednesday night on Coach Skip Prosser Court, forcing 15 Linsly turnovers in the first half — four less than the Cadets had points.

Wheeling Central led 31-19 at the break and, despite never fully putting the Cadets away, were able to earn an impressive 62-46 victory against its rival.

“I thought we looked really good in stretches and then some of the things we didn’t do well, we did that in stretches of the game, too,” Wheeling Central coach Penn Kurtz said. “We did more good things so I am pleased with that. It was nice to see Elle (Canestraro) hit some shots and any time you have Kaylee (Reinbeau) and Hannah (White) out there, they seem to keep things under control for us.

“We got a few good minutes off the bench so overall I am very happy.”

Wheeling Central (8-6) used its pressure defense to its advantage early and often.

The Maroon Knights forced five Linsly turnovers before the Cadets made their first basket. By that time, Wheeling Central already had an 8-0 lead.

The Cadets (7-6) turned the ball over nine times in the first quarter and despite those miscues, trailed by eight points.

“We have no seniors on this team and we don’t go very deep into our bench in pressure moments,” Linsly coach Rebecca Upton said. “These girls play their butts off, and you can’t fault their effort at all. They kept coming, kept coming, kept coming. We fought and not everything was perfect, but our kids have the heart of a lion and I will take that team every single day, even on the bad days.”

Things went from bad to worse for Linsly when 6-foot center Carleigh Grimm went to the bench early in the second quarter with her third foul.

Not the recipe you want when faced with trying to contain an all-stater and Division I recruit such as Reinbeau.

“You lose a 6-foot girl on the floor, that is kind of a big deal, especially when you don’t have a lot of those,” Upton said. “But that is how it goes sometimes.”

And Reinbeau made them pay.

She only made one field goal in the quarter, but snatched five rebounds, forcing her way into getting fouled. She scored five points from the line in the quarter.

“She is amazing and what she has done this year, she has taken it to a whole new level,” Kurtz said. “I can’t say enough good things about her.”

Reinbeau paced the Maroon Knights with a game-high 21 points and nine rebounds.

Linsly made a small run in the third quarter to cut the deficit to seven as Haley Heitz drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to bring the Cadets within 47-40.

Much like Reinbeau in the second, White took over in the fourth, driving to the basket and getting fouled, netting six points from the free-throw line. Wheeling Central outscored Linsly, 15-6, in the fourth.

White finished with 17 points. Canestraro hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter and finished with 13 points, providing a spark for the Maroon Knights outside of their two standouts.

“She has been struggling and putting a lot of pressure on herself,” Kurtz said of Canestraro. “She is a really good basketball player and just trying to get her to relax and play and when she does, she is a pretty good player. She can hit from the outside, take you to the basket and what I really liked was how she played defense.

“As a freshman, sometimes you forget that part but she was great (Wednesday).”

Grimm paced the Cadets with 13 points and nine rebounds, followed by Molly Heron with 11 points and Nevaeh Cook with 10.

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