Madonna stops Clay-Battelle

WEIRTON – Down by three points at halftime, the Madonna boys outscored visiting Clay-Battelle 42-27 in the second half for a 60-48 victory Wednesday night in the Dubie Dome.

The Cee Bees opened strong making five of their first 10 shots while it took the Blue Dons a while to get going.

They didn’t get it going until they opened the second half with 13 unanswered points and cruised from there.

“I think the combination tonight, as I was talking to our coaching staff after the game was the Blue Dons controlled the boards and any time you control the boards good things are going to happen,” said George Vargo, whose club upped its record to 5-2. “Any time you go to the foul line 25 more times than the other team good things are going to happen.

“And I thought our 1-3-1 defense really caused them some trouble. They are a good three-point shooting team, but we got out on the wings pretty good and our big man (Josh Martin) just clogs up the middle.”

The Blue Dons out rebounded the Cee Bees 27 to 20 and ended up the better three-point shooting team, canning six to four by the visitors.

Vargo pointed out that when Madonna junior Nick Mazur opened the second-half scoring with a three ball to ignite the 13-0 run, it gave the Blue Dons a spark. Mazur drained another from long range later in the period and stole the ball near half court and drove all the way for the layup.

Josh Kisner, Clay-Battelle coach, blamed part of his team’s troubles on not playing in awhile.

“I don’t think we scored in the first five minutes of the third quarter and we just haven’t played for days with bad weather and cancelling practice,” Kisner explained. “It was nice to get back on the floor again, but our shooting was not up to par where it should be right now.”

The Cee Bees wound up making 20 of 52 shots, four of them from long range, and actually out-goaled the Blue Dons. Madonna made 18 of 46 from the floor, but held a wide discrepancy at the foul line, making 18 of 31 to just four of five for Clay-Battelle.

Kisner said his game plan involves pounding the ball inside as much as possible and taking the three when it is open.

“We are a pretty good shooting team, it just didn’t show tonight,” he said. “With their big boy in the middle (Martin is a 7-footer), he’s tough to shoot over. He didn’t block many shots tonight he just changed a lot of shots.”

Martin finished the game with three blocks, pulled down seven rebounds and scored eight points.

Senior Ross Comis again led the Blue Dons scoring with 25 points including 10 of 14 from the foul line. He also cleaned the glass with 10 rebounds to give him another double-double, and he had a couple of steals.

Will Bowser had at least three steals and was the only other Blue Don in double figures with 13 points, six of them in seven trips to the free throw line.

“Bowser is a workhorse,” Vargo said. “Every coach loves to have a guy like Bowser on his team. He’s not great as a basketball player, but he is a great athlete He has heart, he has toughness and he has will.”

Clay-Battelle had three players in double figures with senior Zach Chisler checking in with a double-double (15 points and 12 rebounds). Tanner Bragg scored 16 points to lead the Cee Bees and Tristen Haught tossed in 11 including three from beyond the arc.

Madonna gets right back into action Friday night hosting Toronto.

Madonna 60, Clay-Battelle 48

Clay-Battelle 14 7 8 19 – 48

Madonna 11 7 22 20 – 60

CLAY-BATTELLE (4-4): Haught 4 0-0 11, Chisler 7 1-1 15, Hockenberry 1 2-2 4, Bragg 7 1-2 16, Hamilton 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 20 4-5 48. 3-pointers (4): Haught 3, Bragg; Rebounds, 20 (Chisler, 12); Turnovers: 6.

MADONNA (5-2): Comis 6 10-14 25, J. Ewusiak 1 0-0 2, T. Ewusiak 1 0-0 2, Retton 0 2-8 2, Bowser 3 6-7 13, Mazur 3 0-0 8, Martin 4 0-2 8. TOTALS: 18 18-31 60. 3-pointers (6): Comis, 3, Mazur, 2, Bowser; Rebounds (27): Comis, 10, Martin, 7; Turnovers, 10.