Bruins garner 10th victory

Brooke runs past rival Red Riders, 59-35

GUARD VS. GUARD — Brooke’s Marissa Elliott plays defense against Weir High’s Taylor Webster during the first half of Thursday’s game inside the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse on the Ron “Fritz” Williams Court. The Bruins registered their 10th win of the year, 59-35. (Mike Mathison)

WEIRTON — Brooke turned defense into offense.

The Weir girls’ basketball team had difficulty handling Brooke’s press, which resulted in the Bruins getting plenty of easy baskets en route to a 59-35 victory over the rival Red Riders Thursday night on Ron “Fritz” Williams Court inside of the Carl Hamill Fieldhouse to sweep the season series.

“We run 11 girls into the game,” Brooke (10-12) head coach Ryan Scherich said. “We only had 10 tonight because one of our girls got hurt in the JV game. We have been doing it the last couple of games. With the people we can run in the game, it wears teams down. It has helped us.”

The Green and Gold was able to get a lot of its points in transition as a result of getting steals on either side of the half-court line.

“We have had trouble with the press off and on throughout the course of the season,” Weir (2-19) head coach Rick Stead said. “We tend to get excited. We tend to shoot ourselves in the foot. The best we have played all year has been when we slowed down and saw there was nothing in transition and we pulled the ball out and we rotated the ball. I know it if difficult when they are playing man. You have to cut to the basket. We force passes. We commit turnovers.”

Brooke was once again led by the inside-outside combination of Hope Bowman and Ashley Arca. Bowman netted a game-high 20 points, while Arca added 13.

“They did what we expected,” Stead said. “They want to get the ball up and down the court. They want to get the ball into the post. We had some success guarding the post.

“I called a couple of timeouts because we are only five or six deep. The girls get winded, and I have to make substitutions. That is when things go array for us.”

Bailey Stead tallied a team-high 12 points for Weir, while Taylor Webster recorded 10.

“I told the girls to make her (Stead) put the ball on the floor,” Scherich said. “We did a good job of that. We did not want her to get any good looks. She got one good look, and she buried it.

“Every girl who guarded her made her put the ball on the floor. We did not want her to get going from 3. The other night I think she made 7 3s.”

Brooke scored in double digits in all four quarters, and the girls in green outscored the girls in white in all four quarters.

The visitors led 11-4 at the end of the first quarter, and the victors increased their advantage to 24-13 at halftime.

“They are a better team than when we played them the first time,” Scherich said. “They have improved throughout the season. He’s got a young team. He’s got something going.”

Brooke extended its advantage to 39-21 at the end of the third quarter, and the Bruins led by as many as 27 points (56-29) in the fourth quarter.

“This was a much better basketball game than the first time,” Coach Stead said. “We gave up some easy baskets in the lane. They were also able to get some run outs and were able to get layups. Ryan has a nice team. He has some nice players.

“It is hard when your tallest player is 5-10, and there tallest player is about 6-3.

“We played with energy, but we are not very deep off of the bench. We have some inexperienced players, and that limits what we are able to do. We do not do a good job of seeing the floor. We have to move the basketball.”

It was the final regular-season game for both teams. Weir’s OVAC game against at Barnesville that had been scheduled for Feb. 9 was canceled due to weather. The game will not be played.

Weir is scheduled to play against Oak Glen in the West Virginia Class AA Region 1 Section 1 Final at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Oak Glen Fieldhouse.

“We split during the season,” Coach Stead said. “We are looking forward to it. The winner will play Fairmont Senior, so the winner of our game won’t really be a winner.”

Brooke plays John Marshall at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the John Marshall Fieldhouse in a West Virginia Class AAA Region 1 Section 1 Semifinal.

The Monarchs defeated the Bruins twice during the regular season — 62-50 and 65-61.

“We played them at our place and lost by 12, and we played them down there and lost by four the second time,” Scherich said. “John Marshall is a tough team. They are one of the better teams in the valley.”

It has been several seasons since the Bruins have won 10 games in a year.

“It has been a while,” Scherich said.

Brooke went 18-5 in the 2004-05 season under the guidance of head coach John Leary. That Bruins team won an OVAC title.

Brooke 59, Weir 35

Brooke 11 13 15 20 — 59

Weir 4 9 8 14 — 35

BROOKE (10-12): K. Byers 2 0-0 4, Dodson 1 0-0 2, Elliott 2 0-0 6, A. Arca 4 5-6 13, Edgar 0 0-0 0, Velegol 0 0-0 0, Reynolds 1 0-0 2, Fox 2 1-2 6, Bowman 9 2-4 20, C. Byers 3 0-0 6. TOTALS: 24 8-12 59. 3-Pointers: Elliott 2, Fox.

WEIR (2-19): Fuscardo 0 1-2 1, Gianni 0 2-2 2, Stead 3 5-6 12, Evans 0 2-2 2, Mikula 3 0-0 6, Webster 4 2-4 10, Sartor 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 11 12-16 35. 3-pointers: Stead.