NEW MANCHESTER - Madonna's all-everything senior, Ross Comis, scored a career high 30 points to lead the Blue Dons to a surprisingly easy 56-42 victory Saturday night at the Oak Glen Fieldhouse.
Comis, who quarterbacked Madonna's state championship football team, hit three shots from behind the arc and also had a double-double pulling down 12 rebounds as his Blue Dons improved to 4-2.
Despite Comis' heroics, the Golden Bears were just down two points at halftime, 22-20.
BATTLE — Oak Glen's Vanessa Hissam and Madonna's Monica Bragg battle for the ball during Saturday's win by the Golden Bears.
When Kyle Woodruff made a short jumper with 2:23 left in the third quarter, the Golden Bears were still just two points down at 31-29, but Madonna spurted as the period wound down scoring three straight from behind the arc on long bombs by freshman Joey Ewusiak, Comis and George Stakias.
"I think the key to the game was when we hit those three threes in a row," said veteran Blue Don coach George Vargo. "I think that kind of got us momentum and widened the gap."
Vargo, whose team went into the fourth quarter with a commanding 40-29 lead, said he didn't make many defensive changes in the second half.
Madonna 56, Oak Glen 42
Madonna 17 5 18 16 56
Oak Glen 8 12 9 13 42
MADONNA (4-2): Comis 9 9-12 30, J. Ewusiak 3 0-2 8, Will Bowser 2 0-0 4, Stakias 1 0-1 3, Jeter 4 0-0 8. TOTALS: 20 10-24 56. 3-pointers: Comis 3, J. Ewusiak 2, Stakias; Rebounds: 32 (Comis 12); Turnovers: 22.
OAK GLEN (2-6): Click 2 0-0 5, Woodruff 3 1-2 7, Haddox 4 1-2 9, Congo 2 0-0 4, Smith 5 1-1 11, McGraw 2 2-5 6. TOTALS: 18 5-10 42. 3-pointers: Click; Rebounds: 27 (Smith, 8); Turnovers: 14.
"We came out of a full court press and stayed half court and mixed that with some half court zone," he continued. "They were 0 for 9 from outside early so we decided we didn't need to press as much."
Oak Glen coach Dave Smith said he was frustrated that his team couldn't execute.
"We've struggled with our shooting all year," he said as he looked at the stat sheet to find his Bears made one of 16 three-point attempts. "That's been an issue. That's what I was talking to my staff about after the game.
We work on shooting the ball and getting our kids in the situation where they get the best shot they can, but its not working for us right now. I don't know what else we can do. It's so frustrating. We're just not offensively efficient."
Smith's club clawed its way back into the game when his son, Brennan Smith, made a floater from the left baseline with 4:07 left in the game to cut Madonna's lead to 44-40 and gave Oak Glen an 11-4 run to start the fourth period.
The Blue Dons, though, retaliated with a run of their own. Comis ignited it when he sank two free throws eight seconds after Smith's goal and then netted a shot at the 3:32 mark that extended the Madonna lead to 48-40. Oak Glen's only retaliation was a Dave McGraw rebound and putback with 2:55 left that cut the Blue Don lead back to 48-42.
Two Madonna freshman guards, Tavon Jeter and Joey Ewusiak, backed up Comis with eight points each.
Smith was the only Golden Bear in double figures with 11 points. Bub Haddox checked in with nine points.
Oak Glen has a week to work on things as it plays next at Wellsville on Saturday. The Blue Dons return to action on Wednesday hosting Clay-Battelle.