Trinity tops Madonna in overtime
WEIRTON – It only took four minutes for emotions in the Dube Dome to change from excitement to discouragement.
The deafening cheers turned into deflating silence.
Madonna junior Nick Mazur drilled a 3-pointer as regulation expired to send the OVAC Class 1A semifinal game against Morgantown Trinity to overtime.
“That was special,” said Blue Dons coach George Vargo.
He’d like to forget what happened next.
The Warriors scored seven of the first nine points in the extra period, created three turnovers and rallied for an 84-70 victory over the tournament’s No. 1 seed.
Trinity will face Bishop Donahue in Saturday’s championship game at Ohio University Eastern.
“We knew we had our hands full coming up here,” said Warriors coach Jamal Womble. “We wanted to come up here and battle. We kept this thing close and we didn’t allow them to make too many runs for us to get a win.”
A 25-point second quarter, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers from Mazur, allowed the Blue Dons (11-5) to lead by as many as 14 points.
Right before halftime, though, Trinity Christian’s Griffith got a steal in the front court and knocked down a triple six feet behind the 3-point line as the buzzer sounded.
Madonna still led 40-29 going into the locker room.
“That was a big shot and it gave us momentum,” Womble said. “We came out in the third quarter and we really got things rolling. Our pressure created some turnovers and got some easy baskets.”
Trinity scored the first eight points of the second half and didn’t allow a Madonna field goal until a Ross Comis jumper at the five minute mark.
Trinity tied it at 43 at the 4:01 mark on a pair of Griffith free throws.
“I don’t think we were complacent, they just picked up the tempo a little bit and we didn’t take care of the basketball,” Vargo said as his team committed seven turnovers in the third quarter alone. “They got points off turnovers early and they had a lot of confidence.”
A Roger Scott field goal early in the fourth gave the Warriors their first lead at 51-50. They stretched their largest lead of the quarter, which featured four lead changes and two ties, to four points with the help of point guard Adam Robertson.
The sophomore scored 12 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter.
“We don’t quit on any team,” Robertson said. “We just keep playing. We had to step up and play better than we had to beat a good team like that.”
He also added four assists, three rebounds and knocked down 9 of 13 free throws.
“You’re lucky if you can have a guard who can penetrate and make his foul shots,” Vargo said. “That’s exactly what he did. It was an outstanding effort by him.”
Added Womble, who played at Fairmont State from 2005 through 2008, “I can’t say enough about Adam Robertson. He really controlled the game. He went to attack the basket, he knew when to pull the ball out. He was patient and hit shots when the pressure was on.”
Trinity shot 3 of 5 from the field in overtime and was fouled on its only two missed attempts. In turn, Madonna was just 1 of 13 on the floor in the extra four minutes.
Mazur made a layup and Tyler Ewusiak converted a pair of free throws for its only points as Trinity raced for 18.
“We didn’t shoot well at all,” Vargo said. “Trinity just out-hustled us and out-played us. They deserved to win.”
Comis led the Blue Dons with 22 points, Mazur added 14 and Josh Martin scored 13, while grabbing five rebounds before fouling out early in overtime.
“There are not a lot of teams in America, let alone single A West Virginia to have a 7-foot guy,” Womble said. “Our whole thing was if we let him score, we had to come back and push the ball down court so he couldn’t catch up. As soon as a shot went up, we had to get a body on him.”
Madonna out-rebounded the Warriors, 29-25, and Comis grabbed six. Matthew Dlugos scored 14 points for Trinity, while Roger Scott added 12. Griffith finished with 13.
Bishop Donahue trounced Paden City, 73-43, in Tuesday’s other semifinal. The Blue Dons will travel to Paden City and face the Wildcats on Friday.
Trinity 84, Madonna 70
Trinity 14 15 15 22 18 84
Madonna 15 25 7 19 4 70
TRINITY (9-11): Robertson 9 9-13 30, Scott 3 5-6 12, Jackson 0 0-0 0, Raymond 2 3-4 7, Dlugos 6 0-0 14, Hawkinborn 3 2-3 8, Griffith 4 4-5 13. TOTALS: 27 23-31 84. 3-pointers: Robertson 3, Dlugos 2, Griffith, Scott.
MADONNA (10-5): Biondillo 0 0-0 0, Comis 9 2-2 22, Guio 0 0-1 0, J. Ewusiak 2 0-0 2, T. Ewusiak 4 2-2 10, Bowser 0 0-0 0, Mazur 5 1-3 15, Jeter 1 0-0 2, Siakis 2 0-0 4, Martin 5 3-6 13. TOTALS: 28 8-14 70. 3-pointers: Comis 2, Mazur 4.