Golden Bears run over Crusaders

CONTESTING — Steubenville Catholic Central’s Donnie Vandeborne attempts a shot past Oak Glen’s Sean Smith on Tuesday. (Photo by Andrew Grimm)

NEW MANCHESTER — In a game filled with momentum swings, the final one went the way of Oak Glen as the Golden Bears boys basketball team used a big second half effort to defeat Catholic Central 54-47.

“I think that was two hard-nosed teams going at it,” Oak Glen coach Jerry Everly said. “We just did not show up much in the first half, but we challenged them at halftime and they came out, played harder, got some momentum early, hit some shots and things started falling our way.

“At the varsity level, we are kind of young. We need confidence sometimes. When they see success, they can feed off it.”

About a minute into the fourth quarter, the Crusaders (3-2) held a 37-31 lead and Everly called a timeout to regroup. The Golden Bears (3-3) responded with back-to-back 3-pointers from Chris Kokoski and Wyatt Wiley to even the score, steal the momentum and start a 17-0 run that put Oak Glen in command for good.

“Once we got rolling, they started hitting some shots and were feeding off of each other,” Everly said. “When I called timeout down 37-31, I thought we were down to a last-ditch effort. We just regrouped and gathered ourselves. We got back to basics running some ball screen stuff and moving.”

Oak Glen scored 23 of the final 33 points. Kokoski had a game-high 21 for the Golden Bears, including five 3-pointers, with two assists and four rebounds.

“The first half we played well,” Central coach Chris Tarquinio said. “We had control of the game. We were up 37-31 and had the momentum, and we just quit running our offense and went cold at the wrong time. Credit to coach Everly; he does a heck of job with those guys. They made their shots and beat us.”

After Kokoski hit his first two from beyond the 3-point line to give Oak Glen a 6-2 lead, the Crusaders went on a 17-2 run for a 19-8 lead early in the second quarter. Central extended it to a 22-3 run and led 24-9 with 30 seconds left before halftime.

Kokoski hit a huge 3-pointer, then assisted on teammate Sean Smith’s right after to cut the deficit to 24-15 at the break. In total, the Bears hit eight 3-pointers.

“They can shoot,” Tarquinio said. “They are a shooting team, and they always have been. We got mixed up a little bit there, and they knocked them down. Our defense let us down a little bit tonight. That’s on me. I had the wrong lineup in. That has nothing to do with the kids.

“This game is on me. We just got out-coached.”

Those two big shots were the first swing in momentum as Oak Glen came out of the locker room with a 16-2 run for a 31-26 lead before the Crusaders recovered to lead 33-31 heading to the fourth quarter.

“Down by nine at the half, we felt like we at least had a shot,” Everly said. “If we don’t hit those two threes, I don’t know where their heads are at in the second half.”

Smith finished with 11 points, three assists and three rebounds. Wiley finished with seven points, three rebounds and a team-high five assists. Ethan Travis pulled down a game-high 13 boards and put up seven points.

For Central, Donnie Vandeborne led the way with 16 points and four assists. Matt Kilonsky finished with four points, two rebounds and a team-leading five assists. Jake Stoll recorded nine points, two assists and a team-high five boards.

Both teams will make trips to Weirton on Friday. The Crusaders face Weir High on the road, while Oak Glen travels to Madonna.

Game notes:

¯ Oak Glen won the jayvee contest as well, 46-25. Zach Taylor led the Golden Bears with 15 points, while the Crusaders got 11 from Vince Carapellotti.

Oak Glen 54, Catholic Central 47

Catholic Central 15-9-9-14 — 47

Oak Glen 8-7-16-23 — 54

CATHOLIC CENTRAL (3-2): L. Connor 0 0-0 0; A. Connor 2 4-4 9; Gorman 0 0-0 0; DiBiase 0 0-0 0; J. Rook 0 0-0 0; Maragas 0 0-0 0; Carapellotti 0 0-0 0; M. Rook 0 0-0 0; Hough 0 0-0 0; Kilonsky 1 2-3 4; Vandeborne 6 1-3 16; Costello 3 0-0 7; Stoll 4 1-4 9. TOTALS 16, 8-14, 47.

OAK GLEN (3-3): Wiley 2 2-2 7; Perez 0 0-0 0; Smith 3 3-4 11; Gittings 1 3-4 5; Kokoski 6 4-6 21; Poling 0 0-0 0; Travis 3 4-5 7; Brewer 0 0-0 0; Taylor 0 0-0 0; Staub 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 15, 16-21, 54.

3-POINT GOALS: Oak Glen 8 (Kokoski 5, Smith 2, Wiley 1); Catholic Central 5 (Vandeborne 3, L. Connor 1, Costello 1). REBOUNDS: Catholic Central 19 (Costello 5); Oak Glen 33 (Travis 13). ASSISTS: Catholic Central 14 (Kilonsky 5); Oak Glen 11 (Wiley 5). TURNOVERS: Catholic Central 13; Oak Glen 11.