Golden Bears make it 11 straight
NEW MANCHESTER, W.Va. — The Oak Glen boys basketball team’s double digit win streak looked like it might be in danger going into the fourth quarter Tuesday night, trailing Madonna by four and the Golden Bears seemingly having an off night.
Coach Jerry Everly’s crew regrouped, however, and came through with its biggest offensive quarter of the game in the final eight minutes to come back and knock off the Blue Dons, 54-50, to extend the streak to 11 games.
“Madonna came in here and really showed a lot of energy,” Everly said. “They really put it on us. We struggled early on. It was a good battle.
“We have confidence in the fourth quarter that we can gather ourselves, regroup and find a way to win. That is what they have done. We’re 12-3; I don’t think anyone would have thought that coming in.”
Madonna (4-11) pulled to within two with a Tony Selletti basket with 28.2 seconds to go, but on senior night it was a pair of seniors in Marcus Poling and Chris Kokoski who came through in the clutch, each knocking down key free throws in the closing seconds to extend the lead to four. The Blue Dons were not able to recover.
“Chris and Marcus have been great,” Everly said. “This is my first class that has been with me all four years I’ve been coaching. They both stepped up at the end. I’m happy for them to get a senior night win with the work those two have put in.
“(Kokoski) is struggling a little bit right now, and he fought through it. He made some great defensive plays. He made the free throw at the end that put us up by four, and that sealed it.”
Oak Glen had four different players reach double digits, which has been a key during the winning streak.
Ethan Travis led the Golden Bears with a double-double, scoring a game-high 15 points and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. Poling and Sean Smith each scored 12 points, while Wyatt Wiley finished with 11.
“It feels great,” Kokoski said. “We just keep winning. It’s great to be a part of. Last year we kind of relied more on one guy. This year, all five guys on the court can get hot and lead us.
“It was great (to win on senior night). It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so you just have got to take it in and enjoy it.”
Madonna got 15 each from Selletti and Dominic Mazur. It held a 41-37 lead going into the final eight minutes after starting the half with an 8-3 run to erase a four-point halftime deficit of its own, but the Golden Bears outscored the Blue Dons 17-9 in the fourth.
Another factor Blair pointed to was Oak Glen outrebounding Madonna 35-18.
“I thought we battled but not well enough on the boards,” he said. “They got a couple key rebounds that led to extra possessions and key buckets.”
Oak Glen does not have long to celebrate extending the streak as it puts it right back on the line tonight hosting John Marshall. Madonna welcomes Linsly on Thursday.
≤Oak Glen pulled away in the jayvee contest for a 60-37 win. Jay Alaria and Kaleb Dailey each scored 12 for the Golden Bears. The Blue Dons got nine from A.J. Mitchell.
OAK GLEN: 13-14-10-17– 54
MADONNA (4-11): Boniti 4 2-4 10; Selletti 5 2-3 15; L. Pulice 3 0-2 7; Mazur 6 3-4 15; Lenhard 0 2-3 2; Ridgeway 0 0-0 0; Gunnenn 0 1-2 1; V. Pulice 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18,10-18, 50.
OAK GLEN (12-3): Wiley 4 0-0 11; Smith 4 2-4 12; Travis 5 4-7 15; Kokoski 0 1-2 1; Poling 4 4-6 12; Staub 1 0-0 2; Perez 0 0-0 0; Taylor 0 0-0 0. TOTALS: 18, 11-19, 54.
3-POINT GOALS: Madonna 4 (Selletti 3, L. Pulice); Oak Glen 6 (Wiley 3, Smith 2, Travis). REBOUNDS: Madonna 18 (Selletti 6, Mazur 6); Oak Glen 35 (Travis 12). ASSISTS: Madonna 16 (Lenhard 5); Oak Glen 15 (Smith 4, Kokoski 4). TURNOVERS: Madonna 7; Oak Glen 11.