Fast start leads Dons
WEIRTON – Step 1 on the journey to Charleston is complete.
The Madonna girls’ basketball team scored the first 18 points of its West Virginia Class A Region 1, Section 1 quarterfinal against Hundred, and the Blue Dons did not look back en route to a 93-31 victory over the Hornets Saturday night inside the Bill Barrett Gymnasium.
“We wanted to come out with a little bit of pressure,” Madonna (13-8) head coach Don Ogden said.
“We did not know a lot about Hundred coming into the game. They improved as the season went on. They progressed. They came in off of a win last night. They are a very young team.
“We were able to dictate tempo. We wanted to see if we could do that, and I think we did a good job of doing that.
“Sometimes when you press, you can get a little undisciplined, but I thought we did a good job keeping our assignments and playing good defense.
“This was one of the better games we have played. We played outstanding defense, and we moved the ball well.”
Madonna has advanced to play Magnolia on the road in the sectional semifinals.
Madonna led 5-0 40 seconds into the game forcing the Hornets to call their first timeout of the night.
“We couldn’t handle the pressure,” Hundred (2-20) head coach Jeremy Kelch said.
All told, 11 of the 12 players who played for Madonna scored with Monica Bragg contributing a game-high 19 points, while Rachel Grubbs recorded 16.
“It is always nice when you are able to play everybody, and it is even nicer when everybody contributes,” Ogden said. “It makes practice more fun.”
Lindsay Jones netted a team-high 13 points to lead the way for the Hornets.
Hundred struggled against the press all game.
The Blue Dons doubled up the Hornets in scoring in all four quarters of the game. Madonna led 27-6 at the end of the first quarter, and the victors extended their lead to 60-17 at halftime.
“They have two basketball courts, and when they made us play on this wee-little one I figured that was going to be their game plan,” Kelch said. “This was our third game in a row. I don’t know if we were tired.”
Madonna increased its lead in the third quarter for a 73-23 lead into the fourth quarter.
“We were able to get some kids some rest,” Ogden said. “You just question if they got enough playing time for the next game. I think they did. They were just as excited for the younger kids when they were in the game.”
Madonna led by as many as 65 points (93-28) in the fourth quarter.
“This was a private vs. a public school game,” Kelch said. “Our kids are homegrown. Their kids are bought. I don’t think it is fair. Something needs to be done about it, but I don’t think anything will.
“They were shooting 3s when they were up by 60. That is classless. He knew we were overmatched the whole game.”
The game was the final one for the Hornets’ two seniors – Jones and Nikki Cunningham.
“We won yesterday,” Kelch said. “We are going to remember that game more than this one.”
The Blue Dons will now turn their attention to the Blue Eagles.
“Magnolia is a very good team,” Ogden said. “They knocked us out last year. We have to come ready to play.”
The time and the day of the game is yet to be determined.
“Section 2 chose a neutral court to play their games, and they chose to play at Magnolia,” Ogden said. “When we play depends on if they are willing to move their game to another court. We should know for sure on Sunday.
“If we play Tuesday, the game will be at 7. On Wednesday, our boys’ are scheduled to play at Magnolia, so we might be able to play a doubleheader with them.”