STEUBENVILLE - Oak Glen's girls reeled off six straight points late to earn a hard-fought 30-23 victory over homestanding Steubenville Catholic Central Monday.
The win moves Scott Wiley's Golden Bears to 2-0 on the young season. Tom Winland's Lady Crusaders fell to 2-3.
Down by three after outscoring Oak Glen 8-5 during the third period, Central cut the deficit to just two (23-21) following a couple of Rachel Irvin makes from the charity stripe. The score stayed there for most of the final frame until the Golden Bears had their little run.
Tori Feicht got things going when she banked one in off the glass. Logan Andrews drained two free tosses and Alex Arnott converted a nifty Feicht dish into points as Oak Glen pulled away.
"It doesn't matter how you get it (a win), we'll take it," Wiley said. "Central always plays us tough. They are a scrappy team and even though we have size on them, they scrap and get us out of our flow. We just couldn't get a flow going."
Feicht and Arnott combined for six of Oak Glen's final eight points.
"We really rely on our bench," Wiley continued. "Tori got into early foul trouble so we had to kind of save her for the end. She came in and played well down the stretch."
Vanessa Hissam paced the Golden Bears in scoring with eight. She also hauled down a game-high 15 rebounds. Karly Wiley added six points, all coming in the first half. The winners put up 44 field goal attempts but connected on just 12. In addition, they were just six of 17 from the line.
"We just couldn't make any shots," Wiley noted. "We were getting good looks but we couldn't put them in the hole. A couple went in late and gave us a more comfortable lead."
Central had even a harder time finding the bottom of the net, making good on just nine of 43 tries. The Crusaders misfired on all 16 fourth quarter attempts.
"We couldn't hit anything," Winland pointed out. "I feel bad for them; they work on it every day in practice. We battled inside and played well defensively. We did turn the ball over a little too much but we didn't make shots. That has been our M.O. so far. When we start making shots, we'll be in games."
Micca Mirabella netted eight to pace the Crusaders. She had six during Central's third quarter spurt. Rachel Rigaud, who thrilled the crowd with her performance of the National Anthem, scored six and led the Crusaders in rebounding with seven.
Oak Glen's full-court zone pressure forced Central 13 first-half turnovers. Winland's crew did a better job during the final two periods. The Golden Bears, on the other hand, were guilty of 24 ball-handling miscues.
"We did have some problems with their pressure in the first half," Winland said. "We talked to them at halftime about things we could do differently and they responded."
Oak Glen will return to action Saturday, paying a visit to East Fairmont. Central will visit Big Red Wednesday.
Oak Glen 30, Steubenville Central 23
Oak Glen 9 8 5 8 - 30
Steubenville Central 4 7 8 4 - 23
OAK GLEN (2-0): Arnott 2 1-4 5; Patterson 0 1-4 1; Andrews 2 0-0 4; Feicht 1 1-3 3; Hissam 3 2-4 8; Wiley 3 0-0 6; Stivason 1 1-2 3. TOTALS: 12 6-17 30. 3-pointers: none; Rebounds: 39 (Hissam 15); Turnovers: 24.
STEUBENVILLE CENTRAL (2-3): Knight 1 2-2 4; Irvin 0 3-4 3; Rigaud 3 0-4 6; Mirabella 4 0-0 8; Parkinson 0 0-1 0; Dziewatkoski 1 0-0 2; Torrance 0 0-0 0; Ondos 0 -0 0; Hunt 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 9 5-11 23. 3-pointers: none; Rebounds: 33 (Rigaud 7); Turnovers: 21.