Dons nip Oak Glen on Comis 3 at the buzzer
WEIRTON – He’s already accounted for more than 60 victories as a four-year starter on the Madonna boys basketball team.
Plus, he’s a state champion in two sports. Still, Ross Comis keeps finding ways to amaze.
The senior, who is signing his letter of intent to play football at UMass today, hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer on Tuesday night to lift the Blue Dons over Oak Glen, 68-65, at the Dube Dome.
“Comis is a winner,” said Oak Glen coach Dave Smith. “Plain and simple. He’s a Division I athlete who knows how to win.”
Madonna (10-4) overcame a five-point deficit early in the fourth before clinching the dramatic win.
With 15 seconds remaining in regulation, Comis swept along the baseline and attempted a layup, which was blocked by Brennan Smith.
“I didn’t think there was that much time left,” Comis said. “I thought I was going to have to go right back up to the hoop.”
He got the ball back and dribbled to the top of the key before firing away with 2.3 seconds left.
“I set things up and was going to take it through the lane but everyone was in the paint,” Comis said. “I just thought I’d step back and try the 3-pointer. I’ve never had a buzzer-beater.”
Blue Dons coach George Vargo was hoping his 6-foot-1, 200-pound point guard would drive back for a last-second lay up, with the possibility of being sent to the foul line.
But with those 67 career wins (and 40 more in football) comes something even more important than a victory bell ring.
“He’s a veteran player and he’s been in this situation many times,” Vargo said. “Sometimes you just have to let your man do what he has to do and it played out and paid off. We were victorious.”
Madonna led 8-0 early and the Golden Bears (2-12) didn’t score a point until Bub Haddox’s jumper at the 3:28 mark of the first quarter. Oak Glen eventually cut the deficit to 31-30 with under a minute left in the second quarter before the Blue Dons led 34-30 aft halftime.
The Golden Bears took their first lead, 36-34, at the 6:30 mark of the third on Brennan Smith’s 3-point play. The senior leader and coach’s son led all scorers with 31 points.
“When he plays like that it gives ourselves a chance to win,” Dave Smith said. “We’ve had him, at times, take over games. He’s very capable of doing that.
“It makes a big difference on our team. When Brennan does that, it makes everyone else better because he’s unselfish enough to pass it also.”
Smith added eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Haddox added 12 points and Tyler Click finished with 11.
There were five lead changes and four ties in the second half.
At the 2:02 mark of the fourth, Madonna’s Nick Mazur drilled a 3-pointer from the right corner off a Comis pass to put his team up, 63-62. The junior came off the bench to score 14 points.
Comis hit a pair of free throws at the minute mark of the fourth before Click tied it at 65 with two foul shots of his own with 42 seconds left.
The Blue Dons called a timeout with 23 seconds left to draw up a play for the final possession.
“We were in a 2-2 match up zone and switched to man,” Smith said. “We wanted to force them into doing some things with the basketball.
“We forced the shot we wanted them to take. We defended it very well at the end.”
Comis finished with 27 points and hit another 3-pointer in the third – his only points of the quarter.
He also added four assists and two steals. Josh Martin grabbed six of Madonna’s 20 rebounds and added 13 points, while Joey Ewusiak scored four with three assists.
Madonna 68, Oak Glen 65
Oak Glen 12 18 17 18 65
Madonna 18 16 13 21 68
OAK GLEN (2-12): Click 3 4-4 11, Ford 1 0-0 2, Haddox 5 0-0 12, Smith 13 2-3 31, McGraw 3 2-4 8, Feicht 0 1-2 1. TOTALS: 25 9-13 65. 3-pointers: Click, Haddox 2, Smith 3. Rebounds: 17 (Smith 8). Turnovers: 14.
MADONNA (10-4): Comis 10 5-7 27, Guio 1 0-0 2, J. Ewusiak 1 2-2 4, T. Ewusiak 1 0-0 2, Bowser 2 1-2 5, Mazur 4 2-2 14, Jeter 0 1-2 1, Martin 6 1-2 13. TOTALS: 25 12-17 68. 3-pointers: Mazur 4, Comis 2. Rebounds: 20 (Martin 6). Turnovers: 13.