Red Riders start fast, open with big win | News, Sports, Jobs

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CLOSE QUARTERS — Weir High’s Dashawd Smith works the ball to the paint while being closey defended by Oak Glen’s Alex Dennis during Tuesday night’s season-opening victory on Ron “Fritz” Williams Court. – Andrew Grimm

WEIRTON — If Weir High was behind the eight ball from getting a late start because of a deep football run, one certainly would not have been able to tell by how it started the basketball season.

The Red Riders, led by a starting five fresh off the recent run to the Class AA semifinals on the gridiron, came out of the gates flying in Tuesday night’s season opener on the court as they pulled away early and did not look back on the way to a 70-50 victory over visiting rival Oak Glen.

“That’s what we want to do this year,” Weir High head coach Anthony Santangelo said of the fast start. “Getting up by 8, 10 … It’s the focus even more than it was last year. We have a bunch of speed, we’re not very big but it works and the guys are bought into it.

“We have been working for three weeks, but (the football guys) just got back from a long, physical season. Those guys are leaders and it’s great to have them. It was rough (for them to go right from football into basketball), especially that first week, but they worked hard and got their shots up and they played well (Tuesday).

“It’s huge to start with a win over your rival, and in a section game.”

The Red Riders opened a 22-7 lead after the first quarter, which started with a 13-2 Weir High run and closed with the Red Riders scoring the final nine points. Leading that charge was returning senior standout Colin “G” Cross, who netted 17 of his game-high 35 points in the opening quarter.

“G was G, he didn’t miss a beat,” Santangelo said. “All the injuries he’s had, surgeries … he was right back to being the guy we’re used to seeing. He’s a killer. It was great to see him back out there doing what he does.”

From the second quarter on, another gridiron standout took over as Corey Lyons finished with 19 points, 11 of which came in the third quarter when he knocked down a pair of key 3s.

“Corey got into that groove he was in where he left off last year,” Santangelo said. “It was good to see some stuff from him, and Malachi (Stromile), and (Dashawd Smith) and Damir (Mowder). They’re getting in basketball shape and it was a good start.”

For their part, the Golden Bears bounced back from the early woes and played much more even over the final three quarters, but the big hole was too much to overcome.

Oak Glen narrowed the deficit to 11 at one point in the third quarter after trailing by 18 at the break, but never got it back to single digits and the Red Riders ultimately pulled back away with another run, leading by as many as 22 before the subs came in.

“We just came out flat, we looked like a deer in the headlights early,” Oak Glen head coach Jerry Everly said. “I was hoping we would come out ready to play, I have to do a better job of having these young guys ready to go against that kind of pressure early. We missed layups, we missed some shots we normally make. We struggled against their speed.

“Once we settled down, we were able to do some things. Our guys played hard and got after it. We played a lot better the last three quarters, we knew they were going to come at us in that first quarter. Their football mentality carried over to the basketball court early.”

Cross and Lyons each grabbed five rebounds in the win, while Smith added seven points, five boards and four assists. Stromile also dished four helpers in the victory.

For Oak Glen, three players reached double digits as AJ Ramgeet overcame an early injury to finish with 15 points, while Alex Dennis tallied 11 and Preston Cole 10.

The Golden Bears won the jayvee contest, 55-43.

UP NEXT

Oak Glen: Is back in Weirton on Friday to visit Madonna.

Weir High: Hosts Harrison Central on Friday night in a rematch of last year’s OVAC semifinal.

Weir High 70, Oak Glen 50

Oak Glen 7-13-18-12 – 50

Weir High 22-16-19-13 – 70

OAK GLEN (0-1): Weekley 1 0-2 3; Cole 3 3-3 10; Geisse 4 1-2 9; Ramgeet 6 2-4 15; Reinhardt 0 0-0 0; Evans 1 0-0 2; Cowart 0 0-0 0; Dennis 5 1-2 11; Hebroke 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 20, 7-15; 50.

WEIR HIGH (1-0): Cross 13 6-8 35; Mowder 1 1-2 3; Lyons 7 3-6 19; Stromile 1 0-2 2; Smith 2 2-2 7; Jeffers 0 0-0 0; Glyptis 1 0-0 2; Stevenson 0 0-0 0; Chafin 0 2-2 2; Thorn 0 0-0 0; Grays 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 25, 14-22; 70.

3-POINT GOALS: Oak Glen 3 (Weekley, Cole, Ramgeet); Weir High 6 (Cross 3, Lyons 2, Smith). ASSISTS: Oak Glen 12 (Geisse, Ramgeet, Cole 3 each); Weir High ​11 (Stromile, Smith 4 each). REBOUNDS: Oak Glen 25 (Evans 6); Weir High 21 (Cross, Lyons, Smith 5 each). TURNOVERS: Oak Glen 22; Weir High 13.

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