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Wellsville’s hot start, cold shooting too much for Central to overcome

WALKING THE TIGHT ROPE — Catholic Central’s Charles Miller attempts to stay in bounds in front of Wellsville’s Jaxon Brewer during Friday’s game. - Andrew Grimm

STEUBENVILLE — Wellsville rode a red-hot start to a convincing 64-45 victory over Catholic Central Friday in OVAC consolation pool play.

The Tigers, now 11-10, swished eight of their first 10 shots from the floor to grab a 20-8 lead after the opening quarter inside the Mickey Barber Gymnasium. They also were a perfect 3 for 3 from the line.

Justin Wright and Luke Green led the way with seven points each. The hot shooting continued in the second as Green knocked down a pair of triples and Wright canned three jump shots. The visitors were up 39-16 at the break.

“That was a great start for us,” said Wellsville coach David “Bug” Thompson. “We shot in really well in the first quarter and things were the same way in the second quarter.

“We’ve just been in a flow lately. I hope the guys stay like that going into the tournament. I was just real happy with our performance. We had double digit assists and shared the ball well. When you do that, you usually come out on top.”

Wellsville led 51-24 with eight minutes to go. Central, which was as cold from the field early as the Tigers were hot, made a nice run during the fourth quarter. The Crusaders drilled five bonus bombs. Freshman Anthony Venditti connected twice while Luca Connor, Ryan Anderson and Andrew Dorsey made the others.

“We really struggled shooting the ball tonight,” Central coach Don Ogden said after his team fell to 6-15. “I don’t even want to know our shooting percentage.

“To Wellsville’s credit, they played a real good match up defense and did a great job in transition. We did not do a very good job in transition defense despite emphasizing that as part of our game plan.”

Three Tigers reached double figures and a fourth just missed. Wright took game scoring honors with 21. He also collected seven rebounds. Jaxon Brewer contributed 14 and Green finished with 13, all coming in the opening half. Darien Suggs netted nine. He and Green both snared eight boards.

“We’ve been playing much better defense lately,” Thompson said. “We’ve also been rebounding much better. We are really getting very aggressive on the boards.”

Connor had 10 to lead the Crusaders. He also led his team in rebounding with eight. Venditti netted nine points, all coming via the long ball. Anderson, Charles Miller and Dorsey scored six each.

“At the beginning of the season, we were looking for five guys who going to give us effort,” Ogden said. “Even though we have one regular season game remaining, that has not changed. We’re still looking for five guys to give us effort.

“We have one game left to solidify that. We’ll regroup, we have to and we’ll go from there.”

GAME NOTE

Gavin Kountz knocked down 15 points as Wellsville posted a 29-21 win in the two-quarter junior varsity game. Venditti scored seven for Central.

UP NEXT

Wellsville: Hosts East Palestine Feb. 22.

Central: Visits Buckeye Local Feb. 21.

Wellsville 64, Catholic Central 45

Wellsville 20-19-12-13 — 64

Central 8-8-8-21 — 45

WELLSVILLE (11-10): Green 5 0-0 13; Suggs 3 2-2 9; Brewer 6 2-4 14; Greathouse 2 3-4 7; Wright 10 1-4 21; Carter 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 8-13 64.

CENTRAL (6-15): Connor 3 2-3 10; LeFever 2 0-0 4; Anderson 2 0-0 6; Hough 0 0-0 0; Miller 2 2-2 6; Venditti 3 0-0 9; Maragos 2 0-2 4; Lesnefsky 0 0-0 0; Dorsey 1 3-4 6. Totals 15 7-11 45.

3-POINT GOALS: Wellsville 4 (Green 3; Suggs); Central 8 (Venditti 3; Connor 2; Anderson 2; Dorsey); REBOUNDS: Wellsville 31 (Green, Suggs 8 each); Central 33 (Connor 8); TURNOVERS: Wellsville 8; Central 12.

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