Oak Glen jumps on rival Weir

NEW MANCHESTER, W.Va. — The Oak Glen boys basketball team opened the season like a bunch of angry, caged bears running and gunning their way to a lopsided 81-57 win over Hancock County rival Weir High inside the Oak Glen Fieldhouse last night.

The Golden Bears unleashed a first half offensive attack that buried the Red Riders early. It was a hole that coach Mike Granato’s outmanned club could not dig their way out of.

Weir High was without two key players and Granato started three others that had only six practices because of playing on the Red Rider football team that went all the way to the semi-final round of the post season.

“We were excited to play,” said Oak Glen coach Jerry Everly about his veteran ballclub. “We came out with a lot of effort and a lot of passion. I think if we play like that we’ll be successful.”

Oak Glen’s three-year starting center Ethan Travis was on fire coming out of the locker room. The 6-4 senior scored his team’s first eight points and finished with a double-double-19 points and 11 rebounds.

“He led the way and everyone else got into it,” Everly said. “We had four guys in double figures and everyone played well.

“I was a nervous wreck coming into this first game. As a coach, you always think of the worst. Thinking about all the things you maybe should have done differently. I just thought we played with a lot of heart and a lot of passion and got after it defensively.”

Everly’s anxiety eased quickly as his club ran out to a 26-7 first quarter lead and led 46-26 at the half.

Granato’s team, though, settled down at halftime and opened with a 7-0 run to cut the Oak Glen lead down to 13 points, but they didn’t have the firepower to keep it going.

“We chopped it to 13 and actually had the ball for three straight possessions but we couldn’t make three inside shots there,” Granato said. “We came up empty and they got the momentum back.

“We dug a hole early. They shot the basketball well. They were on fire. They were primed and ready. We have to get our legs. I had only six practices with my team. We had seven football players out there and two of them were hurt. But I thought our kids stepped up tonight and played as hard as they possibly could play.

“I credit my guys for that. We fell behind big, but they kept working and battling. The bottom line with this is that we’re not at a point where we can execute a lot of things because we haven’t been together long enough. If we’re playing this way in the middle of January, I’ll be concerned. But my concern right now is getting into the gym, get into basketball condition and I think the other things will happen.”

Junior Tanner Mikula led the Red Rider offense with 15 points, including the team’s only two made three-pointers. Another junior, Dakota Nutter came off the bench to score 10 points.

“When you jump on a team like we did in the first half, there is a natural let down,” Everly said. “We missed some layups in that first half and I think we need to work on our half court offense. We like to get out and run and shoot it and play hard defense. The kids love to play that way. It is fun to watch, but there will be a lot of times when we’ll need to execute better in the half court offense.

“Give Weir High credit. You’re not going to do that to a Granato-coached team. They’re mentally tough and those kids coming off of football are good athletes and strong. They battled back, but we wanted to win the second half and we did. We play them later on and they will be a better team you can count on that.”

Junior Zach Taylor backed up Travis with 16 points and senior Jarrett Gittings scored 12. Sophomore Gage Patterson came off the bench to score 11 points.

The Golden Bears play again next Tuesday hosting Brooke while the Red Riders get right back into action at Indian Creek Friday.

The Red Rider junior varsity beat their Oak Glen counterparts 61-54 in the preliminary game. Tyler Kelly led Weir with 16 points. Konner Allison led the Golden Bears with 15.

WEIR: 7-19-18-13–57

OAK GLEN: 26-20-16-19–81

WEIR HIGH (0-1): Haught 2 1-2 9, Trupiano 0 1-3-1, McCoy 2 0-0 4, R. Reitter 3 0-0 6, Mikula 6 1-3 15, Buffington 1 3-4 5, Nutter 5 0-4 10, Gillette 2 3-4 7. TOTALS: 21 13-26 57. Three-pointers: 2 (Mikula 2); Rebounds: 31 (R. Reitter 8, Mikula 8); Turnovers: 18.

OAK GLEN (1-0): Wiley 1 2-2 4, Perez 2 0-0 4, Smith 4 0-0 8, Patterson 4 3-6 11, Gittings 3 5-7 12, Travis 6 5-8 19, Clark 2 0-0 4, Taylor 6 2-2 16, Mineard 2 0-1 3. TOTALS: 30 16-26 81. Three-pointers: 5 (Taylor 2, Travis 2, Gittings); Rebounds: 29 (Travis 11): Turnovers 10.