Wheeling Central leads wire-to-wire against Steubenville Catholic

WHEELING — A lot can change in 24 hours.

Case in point: Wheeling Central basketball.

The Maroon Knights found themselves in a 13-0 hole at the start of Tuesday night’s game against Shadyside. Coach Mel Stephens’ resilient bunch, however, regrouped to pocket a 72-53 victory.

Central painted a completely different picture Wednesday night, leading from wire-to-wire in a convincing 67-40 Senior Night triumph over a game but outmanned Steubenville Catholic Central squad on Skip Prosser Court.

The Maroon Knights jumped out to a 13-4 lead midway through the initial quarter and never looked back in winning for the 13th time in 17 starts. The hosts stretched their advantage to 37-16 at halftime and maintained a 57-25 strangle hold after three sessions.

The winners displayed impressive unselfishness as 11 of the 12 Knights in uniform found their way into the scoring column.

J.C. Maxwell led the Maroon Knights scoring barrage with 19 points, 17 coming prior to intermission. Jalen Creighton was next with 10, including three 3-pointers, while freshman dandy Ryan Reasbeck chipped in with nine tallies off the bench.

“I thought we did some good things. I thought we played nice defense and we rebounded really well,” Stephens said.

“Steubenville Central is a really young team. Give them credit for battling all night.

“I wasn’t sure how we would come out (Wednesday) after a key OVAC game (Tuesday) against Shadyside. But we got out quick. J.C. had a real impressive game and it is always nice to see so many players score.”

Steubenville Catholic is a junior-sophomore dominated work-in progress squad, featuring just one senior. The Crusaders were coming off a 57-44 win over Bellaire Tuesday.

Sophomore Ryan Gorman led the Crusaders with 10 points while classmate Vince Carpellotti and junior Luca Connor chipped in with eight points each.

“From our first scrimmage to (Wednesday) there is no comparison on how far this team has come. Our system is starting to take hold but it is still trial by fire,” first-year coach Mike Holmes said. “(Wednesday) is not a good gauge of our progress, however, as Wheeling Central is too quick and too talented for us. They are a very good basketball team.”

The game was rapidly and cleanly played. Steubenville Catholic committed eight turnovers, two more than the hosts.

Wheeling Central athletic senior Anthony Robbins grabbed nine rebounds to top all boardsmen.

Wheeling Central returns to action Saturday at Clarksburg Notre Dame in a monster rematch. The Fighting Irish pulled out a 66-63 triumph in the initial foray.

Steubenville Catholic fell to 5-12 and will host St. John Central on Friday night.