WEIRTON - Two young girls basketball teams went at it Monday night at the Bill Barrett Gym and Madonna, on the strength of making 24-of-47 free throws, prevailed over Brooke 48-38.
That isn't a very good free throw shooting night, but in this game it was enough. There were a total of 51 fouls called in the game. No one keeps stats on the number of tie ups, but there had to have been at least 20 of them called as the girls from both teams scrambled for possession of the elusive basketball. In addition, each team turned the ball over 23 times.
There were only two seniors on the floor, one for each team, so the underclassmen, mostly sophomores and freshmen, tried hard and kept after each other.
DEFENSE — Weirton Madonna’s Aubrey Platek is defended by Brooke’s Marena Cline during Monday’s 48-38 win by the Blue Dons in the Bill Barrett Gymnasium.
-- Fred Younce
DEFENSE — Weirton Madonna’s Isabella Rosso plays defense against Brooke’s Marena Cline during Monday’s 48-38 win by the Blue Dons in the Bill Barrett Gymnasium.
-- Fred Younce
"I scouted Brooke last Saturday and I knew coming in that there record (1-10) wasn't like what the game would be like," said Madonna coach Don Ogden. "They play a tough schedule. They're a tough team. They get after it.
"We didn't know how our young team would react going against a Triple A team so we talked pre-game about keeping up our intensity and I think we did a pretty good job of that."
Brooke standout Angela Staffileno clearly was the star of the game in a losing cause. The 6-foot-1 sophomore recorded a triple double scoring 25 points, collecting 16 rebounds, blocking 10 shots and the topping it off with three steals.
"Angela gives it all she's got, but you just can't bail a team out by giving them 42 foul shots and win," said Ryan Scherich, whose team now is 1-10. "We played University Saturday and, not to take anything away from Madonna, but they are much more skilled and we only turned the ball over 14 times.
"I told our kids before the game that if they only turn the ball over 14 times against Madonna they could win. I think the smaller court, which the girls aren't used to, was a factor, too, but you just can't give a team that many opportunities with turnovers and fouls and win."
Brooke out-goaled Madonna 13 to 11, and Staffileno tallied 10 of the 13. The Lady Bruins were much more accurate from the foul line, making 9 of 13, but they didn't get enough opportunities there.
The Lady Blue Dons countered Staffileno's big night with seven girls in the scoring column, led by freshman Monica Bragg's 13 points. Amy Davis and sophomore Leanne Grubbs scored eight points apiece. Grubbs was 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Davis added eight rebounds.
Even though they were playing without senior leader and only returning starter from a year ago, Nicolette Sellitti, Ogden was pleased with the defensive effort his team put forth. Sellitti was injured at home and still has concussion symptoms.
"I thought our defense created some problems for them," Ogden said. "Amy Davis, our other senior, played with intensity and played a heck of a defensive game in the paint. But a girl like Staffileno is going to get her points. We just wanted to make her earn them, which she did. And we wanted to keep the other girls from scoring, which we did."
Bragg, who is gaining experience and improving her statistics every game, got her first varsity double-double, scoring 13 points and grabbing a like number of rebounds.
"Monica is coming on at a time when we really need it because of injuries to Nicolette and some of our other girls," Ogden explained. "She was injured herself and missed some games, but her coming back, the timing for us just couldn't be better."
The Lady Blue Dons travel across the Ohio River Thursday at Steubenville Catholic Central.
Scherich said it doesn't get any easier for his Bruins, who must play Thursday at Oak Glen, a team that just beat Madonna.
Madonna 48, Brooke 38
Brooke 10 7 7 14 - 38
Madonna 7 12 10 19 - 48
BROOKE: Cline 0 0-2 0, Farmer 1 0-0 3, Hinerman 1 1-1 4, Stuck 1 0-0 2, Preston 0 4-5 4, Staffileno 10 4-5 25. Totals: 13 9-13 38. Three-pointers: Farmer, Hinerman, Staffileno; Rebounds: 38 (Staffileno, 16); Turnovers: 23.
MADONNA: Dowiak 1 5-12 7, Mascio 2 0-0 4, Rosso 2 1-4 7, Platek 0 1-3 1, Davis 2 4-10 8, Bragg 4 5-10 13, Grubbs 0 8-8 8. Totals: 11 24-47 48. Three-pointers: Rosso (2); Rebounds: 34 (Bragg, 13); Turnovers: 23.