Weir High’s comeback falls short to North Marion
WEIRTON — North Marion forced Weir High into committing 20 first-half turnovers and were blazing hot on offense going to the intermission with a 20-point lead.
But, Mike Parrish’s club got a little sloppy in the second half and, as Weir High battled back in the second half, the Huskies did just enough, especially from the foul line in the fourth quarter to hang on for a 61-52 victory.
Red Rider coach Rick Stead made some adjustments at the half, and his team wound up getting back into contention in the third quarter, cutting the final deficit down to nine points. However, it couldn’t dig itself out of the huge hole it got into in the first half. The Red Riders now are 1-2.
Parrish, who has had a very successful girls basketball program for several years, admitted after the game that his girls got lackadaisical in the second half.
“We missed some easy shots and layups there in the second half,” he said. “I told them that if we continued to miss those shots that Weir could get hot and get back in it, and that’s what they did. We were a little lackadaisical, not going hard on offense and just going through the motions. That’s one thing we have to get better at.”
Stead said that in the disastrous first half his girls were letting North Marion were trapping and forcing the ball to the sidelines, as they were bringing it up the floor on offense.
“We changed some things around at halftime, and we kept the ball more in the center area in the second half and did much better,” he said. “I’m proud of the girls because they kept their poise and intensity despite the huge deficit and got back in the game in the second half.”
The Red Riders outscored North Marion, 31-22, in the second half.
Down 39-19 at halftime, the Red Riders outscored the Huskies, 13-9, in the third period thanks to back-to-back 3s by the two Sophias, Mikula and Aperfine. Also, Isabella Aperfine added four points in the third.
She got things rolling in the fourth quarter when her jumper, the first score of the period, swished, making the score 48-34. That started a Weir High 8-3 run to open the final stanza and cut the North Marion lead to 11 points at 51-40. The Huskies couldn’t get their field goal shots to go down (they only made one in the fourth quarter), but they made their foul shots, draining 11 of 12 tries to hang on to a double-digit lead .
North Marion built the lead back up to 61-44 when Karle Denim sank two free throws, but those were the last points the Huskies would get. Mikula drained her second 3 of the game, and junior Taylor Nutter, who was a workhorse in the paint during the second half, made a layup and the second of two free throws in the final 28 seconds to get Weir High to the nine-point final margin.
Mikula finished with 15 points to lead the Red Riders, while Nutter scored 13 and led all rebounders with 12. Mikula had 11 rebounds, two steals and a couple of assists. Isabella Aperfine scored six of her 10 points in the second half.
Thanks to Nutter, Mikula and junior Leah Maley, who finished with 10 rebounds, the Red Riders ruled the glass against the taller Huskies. Weir High had 45 rebounds to 32 for North Marion.
The visitors also had three players in double figures led by Taylor Banomeechi’s 21. Olivia Toland scored 12 points, and Denim finished with 10.
“Yeah, we aren’t going to win games with 28 turnovers,” Stead said. “But, a lot of those turnovers we created ourselves in the first half because we weren’t used to seeing that kind of trapping defense. They were trapping off of a rebound, trap off of a broken play, trap off of a loose ball. Mike (Parrish) has one of the best programs in the state of West Virginia. I think North Marion has won four state championships in recent years, the last one two years ago. They’re always prepared, and that’s the kind of basketball they play down there.
“I try to impress upon our girls that if they want to compete at that level, they have to adjust to the speed of the game. I think our girls got a little frustrated there in the first half because North Marion’s 2-2-1 trap was forcing the ball to the sideline where that actually creates a sixth defender for them. We talked to them about getting ball reversal and keep it more to the center of the floor. It’s a credit to the girls that they were able to make the adjustments in the second half that got us back into the game.”
The Red Rider reserve team took it on the chin, with North Marion winning 51-12. Taylor Haught and Casey Yacos each scored five points for the Red Riders. Addie Elliott led North Marion with 12 points, and Sidney Megna followed with 11.
WEIR HIGH: Doesn’t get much time to lick its wounds, as it hosts cross-town rival Madonna on Monday.
North Marion 61, Weir High 52
North Marion 12-20-9-13 — 61
Weir High 8-11-13-18 — 50
NORTH MARION (1-0): Banomeechi 7 6-10 21; Denim 3 2-3 10; Carson 4 5-7 14; Brown 0 2-2 2; Toland 5 2-2 12; Harbert 1 0-1 2; Kerere 0 0-2 0. TOTALS: 20, 17-27: 61; 3-POINT GOALS: 3 (Denim 2, Banomeechi); REBOUNDS: 32 (Banomeechi 8, Denim 7); TURNOVERS: 10.
WEIR HIGH (1-2): Mikula 4 5-9 15; Bernola 1 2-2 4; Hoover 0 2-2 2; I. Aperfine 4 2-2 10; S. Aperfine 2 0-0 5; Maley 0 3-4 3; Nutter 3 7-8 13. TOTALS: 14, 21-27: 52; 3-POINT GOALS 3 (Mikula 2, S. Aperfine); REBOUNDS 45 (Nutter 12, Mikula 11, Maley 10); TURNOVERS: 28.