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Oak Glen falls down the stretch to Wheeling Central

CHASING DOWN — Oak Glen’s Reece Enochs and Wheeling Central’s Tristen White battle for a loose ball during Thursday’s game. -- Kyle Lutz

WHEELING — Although it came one day later than she hoped, Wheeling Central girls basketball coach Roberta Olejasz pocketed her first win at the helm of her alma mater on Thursday with a 66-59 triumph over visiting Oak Glen.

A day after a 52-47 setback to Weir High on the road, the Maroon Knights were led in their home opener by sharp-shooting Lily Vogrin with 27 points, 12 of which came in the final four minutes of the third quarter.

“It’s good to get this first one under our belt,” Olejasz said. “Lily caught fire. She is a sharp shooter, and we know she can shoot lights out. I think our first game maybe she was a little timid to shoot, but we moved the ball well and got her in the pocket and she just caught fire. She defended well, too, and I couldn’t be prouder of her.

“I would say Marisa (Horan) really just penetrated and kicked to her, and she just kept shooting.”

Horan finished with 19 points, and Alexis Mills earned a double-double of 11 points and 18 rebounds.

“Alexis boxed out and was really able to grab a bunch of rebounds,” Olejasz said. “I think I had her with five or six deflections, as well.”

With four minutes to play and Central clinging to a 53-52 edge, the Knights’ defense shut down the Golden Bears in the midst of a 7-0 run to put the game out of reach.

“Our defense was really good (Thursday),” Olejasz said. “They set goals for how many points they were going to give up. They didn’t quite get there, but they’re going to get there. They had a fire (Thursday) that wasn’t there (Wednesday). We were ready to play.”

Central took a 16-12 lead into the second quarter after recording a pair of 8-1 spurts in the first.

The Knights extended their lead to 28-17 in the second, but the Golden Bears (0-1) finished the half strong on an 11-2 run to cut the deficit to 30-28 at the break.

“We figured the first part of the game was just nerves with this being our first game,” Oak Glen coach Scott Wiley said. “We were figuring the ball would eventually go in the hole, and it finally went in. We really fought back, but then we gave up the lead again, and that’s kind of all she wrote.

“But, at least we are playing again. That’s what we are thankful for.”

An 11-2 run early in the second half by Oak Glen gave the Bears a 39-34 advantage and all of the momentum — until Vogrin started putting up shots.

The 5-foot-6 sophomore couldn’t miss. Vogrin bucketed four 3-pointers in a row, and Mills added a bucket of her own to catapult the Knights back in front, 48-39, entering the final frame.

Oak Glen’s defense stayed strong in the fourth, forcing nine Central turnovers over the last eight minutes. Reece Enochs also charted 10 fourth-quarter points to get the Bears to within one before the Knights finally put the game away down the stretch.

“Our plan was to pressure as much as we could,” Wiley said. “I know they had a game (Wednesday), and they don’t go real deep off the bench, so we tried to rotate a lot of people in. I thought our effort on defense was there, except on (Vogrin). She couldn’t miss a shot.”

Enochs led the Golden Bears with 22 points, followed by 11 from Maddie McKay and nine from Alexus Greenlief.

Wheeling Central 66, Oak Glen 59

Oak Glen 12 16 11 20 — 59

Central 16 14 18 18 — 66

OAK GLEN (0-1): Kell 0 0-0 0; Enochs 7 4-5 22; Greenlief 3 3-5 9; Syd. Brown 2 3-6 7; McNutt 0 1-2 1; McKay 4 2-5 11; Severs 0 0-0 0; Barr 1 0-0 2; Barganski 0 3-4 3; Sar. Brown 0 0-0 0; Kranis 1 2-4 4. TOTALS: 18, 18-31: 59.

WHEELING CENTRAL (1-1): Horan 6 6-9 19; Mills 5 1-4 11; Vogrin 8 5-8 27; White 2 0-2 4; Canestraro 1 2-2 5; Jones 0 0-0 0; Olejasz 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 22 14-25: 66.

3-POINT GOALS Oak Glen 5 (Enochs 4, McKay); Wheeling Central 7 (Horan, Vogrin 5, Canestraro).

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