Run lifts Madonna past Weir

WEIRTON – Madonna went on a 17-9 run in the finial 5:22 of the game Friday night to go away with a 54-44 victory over Weir High at the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse. The win gives the Blue Dons (3-7) a sweep of their city rivals.

Madonna had its way in the first half and went to the locker room at the break leading 27-13. But following the intermission, the Red Riders (1-11) closed out the third quarter with a 10-3 run to narrow the Blue Don lead to 37-28 heading into the fourth period.

Weir High kept the run going in the first half of the final stanza opening with seven unanswered points to get some excitement into the game as they closed within two at 37-35 with 4:28 left.

“Basketball is a game of runs and we had the last one,” said Blue Don coach, George Vargo.

“But the game was won at the foul line in the final minute.”

The momentum took a turn in Madonna’s favor when seldom used freshman Nick Mazur found nothing but net from deep in the left corner and behind the arc. That gave the Blue Dons some breathing room at 40-35 and ignited the final run down the stretch.

“To be successful we have to take the ball to the basket,” said Weir High’s Mike Granato. “That means we have to reverse the ball. When we did that, we had open shots because when we starting going to the basket in the second half, it opened up the outside shot as guys were able to get their feet set.

“We went from 5-of-27 in the first half to 12-of-26 in the second half.

“That’s not real good shooting overall, obviously, but the point we’re trying to make with the kids is you can’t worry how big the defender is inside you have to attack the basket and whatever happens, happens.”

Weir High was able to can four three balls during their run through the third period and into the fourth with senior guards Shane Davis and Dylan Cassiadoro getting two each.

Davis drove the lane at the 2:44 mark to cut Madonna’s lead back to five points at 42-37, but by the time the Red Riders scored again on a Mitch Viakley jumper with 49 seconds remaining, Madonna was in command 48-39.

In the final 56 seconds the Blue Dons, which haven’t been a very good foul shooting team this season, made 8-of-10 free throws to put the game away. Prior to that, the Blue Dons were only 5-of-13.

Madonna’s Nate Guio finished with a double-double and led the Blue Dons with 11 points and a like number of rebounds. Junior Tyler Ewusiak and sophomore Levi Shreve each scored 10 points.

Cassiadoro took down game scoring honors with 13 points.

Junior Andre Sims, also had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Davis finished with 10 points.

The Blue Dons don’t get much time to relish the win as they get right back into action tonight hosting Bridgeport in a makeup game that had to be postponed due to weather conditions on Dec. 29.

The Red Riders get a week off and play next Friday at Steubenville Big Red.