Fast start paces Madonna past Knights

TORONTO – The Madonna boys basketball team executed its defensive game plan to perfection in the first quarter against Toronto. The Blue Dons jumped out to a 27-4 lead after eight minutes en route to an 81-45 win Wednesday against the Red Knights.

“I think it was a total team win tonight,” said Madonna head coach George Vargo. “I think everyone contributed in some fashion. We are just much quicker than them. They have a very young team. We took his main man (Blaze Glenn) out of the game early.

“We were able to take him out of the game and he facilitates for the others as well so they weren’t able to get going.”

Though Glenn was able to strike for a game-high 23 points and pull down a team-high 10 rebounds, he was held to just a pair of shot attempts and two points during the Blue Dons’ big opening stanza. With Glenn struggling to find openings, Madonna was able to hold the rest of the Red Knights to a combined 1-for-9 from the field in the first quarter.

“We’ve been trying to prepare the kids because we knew someone would come out and try to take Blaze away from us,” said Toronto head coach John Leary. “They were going to run a box and one or a diamond and one, and we were going to run some sets at it, but practice and actually doing it in a game are different things. This was the first time someone tried to do it to us. It’s no big secret, with him averaging almost 25 a game, if I’m playing us I’m going to try to take him away. The other guys didn’t step up. We had some decent looks early and we didn’t knock them down.

“The worst possible scenario happened. We missed a couple of open looks, next thing you know we were down 11-2, and it mushroomed from there.”

Josh Martin dominated the inside for the Blue Dons, scoring 21 points and pulling down 11 rebounds in about two and a half quarters of playing time. The 7-footer scored 13 and had eight boards during the first half as the Blue Dons secured a 47-17 lead at intermission.

“That’s great for him,” said Vargo. “He needs confidence. He needs those types of games. When we move forward we’re going to need him to do that.”

Fifteen different Blue Dons saw action with 12 getting into the scoring column. Joining Martin in double-digits were Ross Comis with 13 points and George Stakias with 10 points. Comis added nine rebounds to help Madonna to a 37-29 rebounding edge. Madonna had 16 steals with Comis snatching three while Marcello Biondillo, Joey Ewusiak, and Tavon Jeter added two each.

“It’s great because we’ve been off so long due to the weather,” said Vargo. “We’ve played one game in the last seven to 10 days. You get tired of practicing; everyone got to play, and moral was high. Now we have a tough one at home against Bridgeport Thursday.”

Madonna was 32 for 72 from the field and 11 for 19 from the charity stripe.

Derrick Lawrence had a solid game for the Red Knights with six points and six rebounds. The Red Knights struggled from the field, hitting just 14 of 43 shots. They shot 15 for 22 from the foul line with Glenn accounting for 13 of 19 of that tally.

Madonna has its match up with Bulldogs today and then meets up with Wheeling Central Saturday. Toronto hosts Beaver Local Friday.

Madonna 81, Toronto 45

Madonna 27 20 19 15 81

Toronto 4 13 11 17 45

MADONNA: Biondillo 1-3, 0-1, 2; Comis 4-10, 5-7, 13; Guio 0-2, 0-2, 0; Antinone 1-1, 0-0, 2; J. Ewusiak 3-8, 0-0, 8; Shreve 3-7, 0-0 8; Bowser 2-5, 0-0 4; T. Jeter 1-1, 2-2, 4; Lyons 2-4, 0-0, 4; Higgins 0-0, 0-0, 0; M. Jeter 1-5, 1-2, 3; Stakias 3-6, 2-2, 10; Martin 10-13, 1-1, 21; T. Ewusiak 1-3, 0-2, 2; Mazur 0-4, 0-0, 0. TOTAL: 32-72, 11-19, 81. 3-POINTERS: 6 (J. Ewusiak 2, Shreve 2, Stakias 2). REBOUNDS: 37 (Martin 11, Comis 9). STEALS: 16 (Comis 3, Biondillo 2, J. Ewusiak 2, T. Jeter 2). TURNOVERS: 14.

TORONTO: Stewart 1-6, 0-0, 2; Glenn 5-10, 13-19, 23; Jordan 0-0, 0-0, 0; Roche 2-4, 0-0, 4; Clegg 0-2, 0-0, 0; Rawson 0-4, 0-0, 0; Roush 0-1, 0-1, 0; Keirsey 1-3, 0-0, 2; Lawrence 3-5, 0-0, 6; Hill 1-3, 2-2, 5; Carducci 0-1, 0-0, 0; West 1-4, 0-0, 3; Fordham 0-2, 0-0, 0. TOTAL: 14-43, 15-22, 45. 3-POINTERS: 2 (Hill, West). REBOUNDS: 29 (Glenn 10, Lawrence 6). STEALS: 4 (Glenn 2). TURNOVERS: 26.