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Lady Riders, Dons grab high seeds for upcoming tourney

TOURNAMENT TIME — Madonna’s Vanessa Alatis drives past Weir High’s Leah Maley on March 26. The Blue Dons and Red Riders will enter their respective tournaments Tuesday as No. 2 seeds. -- Joe Catullo

Although the Weir High and Madonna girls basketball teams have been heading in opposite directions as of late, both will begin their sectional tournaments at home on Tuesday.

In Class AAA Region 1 Section 1, the Red Riders are the second seed and will host third-seeded Wheeling Central. Weir High swept the regular season series, and head coach Rick Stead is aware how hard it can be to defeat the same team three times in one season.

“That’s definitely in the forefront,” he said. “I like to say I was a little shocked. I was very glad to see it come out this way. Wheeling Central has a good team, but at least we have them on the home court.”

Oak Glen garnered the fourth seed and heads to No. 1 North Marion.

The Red Riders have not won since defeating the Maroon Knights two weeks ago and currently are riding a five-game skid. That began in the city championship contest against Madonna.

The Blue Dons, thanks to solid play of late, are the second seed in the Class A Region 1 Section 1 tourney and will host third-seeded Valley on Tuesday. Madonna swept that season series.

“We are very pleased with our seeding,” head coach Cory Wingett said. “Ever since the second half of Clay-Battelle (two days prior) into the city championship, we concentrated on locking down our defense and building our offense off of that. There are no magic tricks; defense is your best offense. They have done an unbelievable job at that opportunity. They deserve all of the credit.”

Madonna also is the third seed overall in Region 1 and are 6-2 against those squads.

Cameron is the top seed and will host the winner of No. 5 Paden City-No. 4 Hundred.

In Class 4A, Brooke travels to Morgantown on Tuesday.

Sectional championships will occur on April 16 at the highest remaining seed.

CLOSING THE DOORS

Weir High’s scheduled home contest against Wheeling Park today has been canceled. It is expected to conclude the regular season Saturday at home against Oak Glen.

“The key is getting these kids some rest. We have some minor injuries with a chance to recover,” Stead said.

Meanwhile, the Blue Dons travel to face the Bruins on Thursday.

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