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Warren boys roll to victory over Belpre, 78-50

MIKE MORRISON The Marietta Times Warren’s Austin Barta (12) attacks the basket during a high school boys basketball game against Belpre Friday in Vincent.

VINCENT — Warren head coach Blane Maddox was hoping to get all of his kids involved in Friday night’s non-conference home game against Belpre as a pair of his starters continue to recover from early season injuries.

The Warriors achieved their objective as 11 different players scored at least a point as they rolled to a 78-50 win over the Golden Eagles.

With Noah Nichols back in the lineup but playing limited minutes and Clay Miller just about ready to return to the lineup, the Warriors showed off their depth as seven different players scored at least seven points in the game.

Maddox began using his bench early in the game and the energy was evident as the Warriors forced Belpre into nine first quarter turnovers while holding the Golden Eagles without a field goal as they pulled out to a 16-5 lead.

“It’s great to get a lot of kids involved because we are playing for this year and next year and everybody practices hard,” said Maddox. “It was a great opportunity to see everybody get to play some meaningful minutes.”

Warren guard Brandon Simoniette, who transferred from Belpre prior to football season last fall, was on fire in the opening half as he torched his former team for 15 points, including three 3-pointers.

“I thought he came in very composed and both teams were respectful to each other,” said Maddox of Simoniette. “I just thought it was a good atmosphere for a player to come back and play in front of his old school.”

Belpre got a huge spark from its bench to start the second quarter as Evan Wells connected on back-to-back triples to open the quarter and after Simoniette’s field goal Wells made a pair of free throws to trim the Warren lead to 18-13.

The white and royal blue answered with a run of their own as they outscored Belpre 9-2 during the next two minutes to increase their lead to 27-15.

The Warriors managed to increase their lead to 35-22 at the intermission despite six late second quarter points by Belpre big man Jeremiah Stitt.

Warren point guard Seth Dennis, who came into the game as the Warriors’ leading scorer on the year, had a rather quiet first half as the sophomore scored only a pair of points but he played a key role in a run to begin the second half that gave the Warriors their first two-point lead of the game.

Bryce Knost opened the half with a 3-pointer before Dennis scored back-to-back buckets in transition to stretch the Big Blue lead to 20.

Connor Baker’s field goal briefly halted the Warren momentum but a 3-pointer by Nichols gave WHS a 21-point lead that they would eventually stretch to as many as 32.

Simoniette led all scorers with 15 while Dennis was the only other Warrior to finish in double digits with 12.

Knost, Matt Goodman, Nichols, Dylan Place and Evan Byrd each scored seven points apiece for the Warriors, who improved to 4-2 with the win.

“We are a very good team when we are healthy and our defense can force a lot of turnovers,” said Maddox whose squad forced 25 Belpre miscues in the game. “We’ve got a couple of kids who are about ready to come back and we’ve just got to do what we need to do. I thought we played really well for the most part.”

Stitt finished the game with nine points and 10 rebounds to lead Belpre while senior Chance Ross came off of the bench to knock down three 3-pointers in the final quarter to finish with nine as well.

“It seems like every year we play these guys the first quarter is always close and then they make adjustments and we don’t and that’s the way it was again tonight,” said Belpre head coach Tyler Leasure. “They are athletic, they are a great team …. I believe we are much better than a team that lost to them by 28. It just comes down to the fact that they executed really well and we didn’t.”

Both teams will enjoy a bit of a break over Christmas before returning to action next Friday night as Belpre travels to Fort Frye and Warren takes on Whitehall Yearling at Marietta College.

NOTES: Longtime Warren teacher and Athletic director Fred Ruth as well as former teacher and girls basketball coach Dennis Biddinger were among five inductees into the Warren High School Hall Of Honor prior to the start of the game.

Warren 78 Belpre 50

BHS 5 17 9 19 — 50

WHS 16 19 17 26 — 78

BELPRE (3-6)

Evan Wells 2 2-3 8, Jordan Harrington 0 0-0 0, Eric Dotson 0 0-0 0, Chance Ross 3 0-0 9, Logan Adams 0 4-4 4, Tyce Church 0 0-0 0, Dylan Cox 0 2-2 2, Connor Baker 2 2-2 7, Jeremiah Stitt 3 3-4 9, Nick Godfrey 1 4-4 6, Collin Alloway 1 3-4 5, Totals: 12 20-23 50. 3-point goals: Ross 3, Wells 2, Baker 1.

WARREN (4-2)

Kurt Taylor 3 2-2 9, Brandon Simoniette 6 0-1 15, Bryce Knost 3 0-2 7, Matt Goodman 2 3-4 7, Noah Nichols 2 2-3 7, Austin Barta 1 0-0 2, Joel Chevalier 2 0-0 4, Clay Miller 0 0-0 0, Dylan Place 3 1-2 7, Evan Byrd 3 0-0 7, Seth Dennis 5 2-2 12, Isaac Colgrove 0 1-2 1, Josh Welch 0 0-0 0, Jake Baumgard 0 0-0 0, Totals: 30 11-18 78. 3-point goals: Simoniette 3, Knost 1, Nichols 1, Byrd 1, Taylor 1.

Shooting: B 12-39 (30.8%), W 30-64 (46.9%); 3-pointers: B 6-12, W 7-16; Rebounds: B 27 (Stitt 10), W 33 (Colgrove, Barta 5); Assists: B 7 (Baker 3), W 16 (Taylor, Dennis 4); Steals: B 1 (Wells); Turnovers: B 25, W 9

JV: Warren 76 Belpre 39

JV scoring: B: J. Harrington 10, T. Church 9, C. Daugherty 8. D. Cox 6, W. Feick 5, M. Deems 1. W: J. Welch 18, K. Taylor 16, J. Baumgard 14, E. Byrd 9, D. Higgins 8, D. Pettey 4, C. Higgs 3, C. Davis 2, C. McAfee 2.

Next Games: Belpre at Fort Frye Friday; Warren vs. Whitehall Yearling Friday at Marietta College.

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