WEIRTON - The Oak Glen girls basketball team had some difficulty scoring and committed a lot of critical turnovers early in the game, but when crunch time came in the final minute it played like the veteran team it is and came out of the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse last night with a 42-41 come-from- behind victory over Weir High.
It was the mutual season opener for the Hancock County rivals, who went into overtime in their annual season opener last year.
Senior Vanessa Hissiam, who was the only Oak Glen player in double figures, scored six points in the fourth quarter and it was her rebound and nifty pass to junior Jessica Stivason in the lane for the layup that proved to be the game winner with 26 seconds left.
"Vanessa does so much for us. It's not just the scoring," said Oak Glen coach Scott Wiley, who is a teacher at Weir High. "It's the rebounding and passing. She can see it. She sees the court so well.
Wiley and Lady Red Rider coach Bill Smith felt it was a typical first game with a lot of missed opportunities.
"We got the lead and it looked like we had things under control, but it was turnovers," Smith said. "And we didn't do a good job on the boards late and they took advantage of it."
Smith's club was behind 20-19 at halftime, but outscored the Lady Golden Bears 13-8 in the third quarter to take a 32-28 lead into the final frame. The Lady Bears responded in the fourth quarter to outscore the Riders 14-9 and snatch the victory.
"We have a lot of seniors, but how many of them have really played before - two, Alyssa Shingle and Raegan Stead," Smith explained. "I have two kids with experience and some of the others have got to find themselves."
Shingle led the Weir High scoring with 16 points but Ashlynn Drizake and Selina Wolverton, seniors that didn't play basketball last year, came through with 8 and 6 points, respectively. Drizake led the Lady Riders in rebounding with 9 and she had five steals and a couple of blocked shots.
Hissiam got the lead back for Oak Glen with a layup at the 4:30 mark to make the score 36-34, but Shingle swished a three from the right side 15 seconds later to put her team back in front by a point.
Karly Wiley, the coach's daughter, scored to retrieve the lead for Oak Glen, but Wolverton, who was deadly from the corner all game, ripped the cords with a 17-foot jumper from the left corner giving Weir High the lead again at 39-38 with 3:16 left.
After an Oak Glen time out, Hissiam got a nice pass from sophomore Alex Arnott and made a little 4-foot jumper, but senior Madison Dalrymple answered that grabbing an errant Weir High shot and taking the ball right back to the basket for a layup with 38 seconds showing on the clock.
It proved to be Weir High's final points and last lead as Stivason made a jumper from close range 12 seconds later off that pass from Hissiam for the win.
It was only her second bucket of the game.
Arnott and Wiley backed up Hissiam with 7 and 6 points, respectively.
While Stivason scored only four points, she worked hard in the paint and wound up with a game high 12 rebounds. Hissiam corralled 8 missed shots.
Weir High returns to the hardwood Thursday hosting Brooke at the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse while the Lady Golden Bears return home to host Edison Friday night.
Oak Glen 42, Weir High 41
Oak Glen 11 9 8 14 42
Weir High 5 14 13 9 41
OAK GLEN (1-0): Arnott 3 1-4 7, Snow 1 0-0 2, Evans 1 0-0 2, Andrews 2 0-0 4, Hissiam 8 1-4 17, 3 0-2 6, Stivason 2 0-0 4. Totals: 20 2-10 42. Rebounds, 36 (Stivason 12); Turnovers, 17.
WEIR HIGH (0-1): Wolverton 3 0-0 6, Stead 3 0-0 7, Shingle 6 2-2 16, Drizake 4 0-4 8, Dalrymple 2 0-2 4. Totals: 18 2-8 41. 3-pointers (Shingle, 2, Stead); Rebounds: 23 (Drizake, 9); Turnovers: 17.