Monarchs come back to defeat Red Riders

WEIRTON – Weir High head coach Mike Granato thought his team took care of the ball.

“I just think we were not very good tonight in situational basketball,” he said. “We did a good job in the first half of finding the open man and knocking down shots. I thought we took some pretty good shots at times. We just didn’t hit those shots in the second half. We had a lot of shots go in and out.

“Situational basketball is something you can practice. But, you have to do it against pressure, in a game and in front of a crowd. It’s a lot more difficult in a game than in practice.

“Also, I don’t care what level it is, you cannot go 2-for-9 at the free throw line.”

John Marshall trailed Weir High, 34-24, at halftime Tuesday at the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse.

The Red Riders held a 44-33 late in the third quarter, but the Monarchs went on a 26-5 run to end the game and leave with a 59-49 victory.

“We brought our full-court pressure up and when we didn’t get steals, I think it made them play a little quicker at the other end,” said Storm. “I think they took some shots they didn’t want to shoot. Then, we rebounded. We got killed early in the game on the boards.

“Ronnie Brown hit two big threes for us on the left side. In the first half, we had nobody who wanted to step up and take a shot.”

Josh Smith led the winners with a game-high 17 points. Brown and Tanner Filben each added 11 and Hunter Sadoski 10. The Monarchs were 10-for-12 from the line in the final eight minutes.

“We challenged them a little bit at halftime to see how they would take a challenge,” said Monarchs coach Bill Storm. “We’re a young team. I didn’t know whether they would run or respond to it.”

Sadoski hit two free throws to give John Marshall its first lead in a long time, 50-49, with 1:54 unplayed.

Kit Foster-Smith hit two free throws for a 52-49 cushion with 60 seconds left.

Filben stole the ball in the press and converted a lay up for a 54-49 lead four seconds later.

“I think that bucket took the wind out of their sails,” Storm said of the Red Riders. “When you have a young team, one kid with varsity experience, anytime you go on the road, you’d better strap ’em up around here.”

Chris Wood paced the Red Riders with 15. Kamarri Washington added 14.

“A lot of times we had three sophomores on the court and some of our older guys did not play minutes that were tight in the past two years,” said Granato.

“Yesterday in practice we spent a lot of time on delay game and things like that. But, you have to do it under pressure and then learn from it.

“We’re going to take the game film, go through it and practice it. I think they have a better understanding now of what we need to do. This is a type of game we have to grow from and grow with.

“I’m not disappointed in our effort. I’m disappointed in the end result.”

John Marshall 59, Weir 49

John Marshall 7 17 16 19 – 59

Weir 13 21 11 4 – 49

JOHN MARSHALL: Smith 6 5-8 17, Brown 3 3-4 11, Filben 5 0-0 11, Sadoski 1 8-11 10, Mason 4 0-0 8, Foster-Smith 0 2-2 2, Whorton 0 0-2 0, Grim 0 0-0 0, Frazier 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 19 20-27 59. 3-pointers: Brown 2, Filben.

WEIR: Wood 7 0-0 15, Washington 6 1-5 14, Viakley 3 1-3 7, Smith 3 0-0 6, West 2 0-0 5, Enrietti 1 0-1 2, Curtis 0-0 0, Knight 0 0-0 0, Kirk 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22 2-9 49. 3-pointers: Wood, West, Washington.