Big Red girls’ offense keeps rolling | News, Sports, Jobs


PASSING BY — Big Red’s Sabria Jones works to the paint past Weir High’s Brayley Lash during Monday’s game on Ron “Fritz” Williams Court. – Andrew Grimm

WEIRTON — Suffice it to say, Big Red’s offense is rolling right now.

After falling behind early and being tied early in the second quarter, coach Angie Forte’s squad scored 41 of the next 47 points, knocking down 11 3s on the way to rolling to a 71-40 victory on the road at Weir High Monday night.

It is the second game in a row Big Red has scored 70 or more and won by more than 30, the other coming last week at Oak Glen, and Steubenville has a combined 20 triples in the last two games. Of those, 11 have come from senior sharpshooter Madelyn Criss in that span as she finished Monday night with a game high 19 points, all but one coming on six 3s, while three other Big Red players also made shots from beyond the arc.

“They’ve been in the gym, they’ve been getting shots up,” Forte said. “They’re working together, the team chemistry right now is great. They’re supporting each other, they’re trusting each other. We have talent, now we’re able to put it all together and them playing together is a huge reason why.”

After Weir (3-4) jumped out to an 8-2 lead with six-straight points, Big Red (5-2) went on a 12-2 run to take the lead and did not surrender it.

After some back-and-forth bucket trading early in the second quarter, Criss, Paige Matteson (nine points) and Bailee Beall (nine points) each made triples on a run that swelled to 28-4 to end the first half.

“We’ve put more emphasis on the defensive end, our practices start out with defense,” Forte said. “So, I think they’re starting to understand the offense can flow from the defense and once we get the momentum because of our defense, the offense is coming natural.”

Beall connected a back-to-back 3s during the run, while Criss ended the half with a deep 3 to make it 44-20 Big Red at the break, giving it a 30-point outburst in the second quarter.

Halftime only momentarily slowed the onslaught, as Steubenville opened the third with a 13-3 run. The subs played most of the fourth quarter for both sides with Big Red on top by 32 and eventually winning by 31.

As quick as everything seemed to go right for Big Red, it went awry eqully as fast for the Red Riders, who were coming off a tough loss Saturday to high-powered North Marion.

“Early in the second quarter it went from a two-point game, to a four-point game, to a six-point game … and once we get behind, I think we have a tendency to start wanting to push things,” Weir High head coach Rick Stead said. “Instead of letting things come back to us, we try to force things to happen. We had some self-inflicted turnovers, we got out-hustled at times. Defensively we lost the shooter.

“Down 20 we switched to man in the second half and we still didn’t stick to our principles … we left the shooter wide open. It was just a lot of things.”

Weir’s efforts were led by Janai Turner’s 17 points.

“I know we have a good basketball team, this is the nucleus of a good basketball team,” Stead said. “These girls are capable of doing the things we need to do, we just have to start doing it.

“We have to reach inside of ourselves and realize we’re capable of doing this. I think these girls are more than capable of playing anybody in the state, they have to realize they’re capable. I have to get them to believe in themselves, if we can start doing that, we’ll be fine.

“We got knocked down the last two games, but it’s a long season. It’s not about where you start, it’s where you finish.”

Led by Gianna Thomas’ 17 points, Big Red also won the jayvee game 49-19. Weir’s Eliza Utt had eight.


Big Red: Returns home Thursday to host John Marshall before the holiday.

Weir High: Has a quick turnaround with a trip to face JM today.

Big Red 71, Weir High 40

Big Red 14-30-20-7 – 71

Weir High 12-8-12-8 – 40

BIG RED (5-2): Warner 3 2-2 8; Scurry 1 2-2 4; Criss 6 1-2 19; Jones 3 1-2 7; Cooper 0 1-2 1; Matteson 3 2-2 9; McShan 3 5-5 11; Beall 3 0-0 9; Pierce 1 0-0 3; Thomas 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 23, 14-17; 71.

WEIR HIGH (4-3): Baker 1 0-0 2; Kaufman 2 0-0 5; Turner 5 5-6 17; Lash 0 0-0 0; Faulks 1 2-2 4; Hoover 3 3-4 10; Weber 0 0-0 0; Utt 0 0-0 0; Spencer 0 0-0 0; Baltimore 1 0-0 2. TOTALS: 13, 10-12; 40.

3-POINTERS: Big Red 11 (Criss 6, Beall 3, Matteson, Thomas); Weir High 4 (Turner 2, Kaufman, Hoover).

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