WEIRTON - The Madonna girls' basketball team, with only two seniors, opened the season with a big first quarter and coasted to a 53-25 victory Monday night against Bishop Donahue at the Bill Barrett Gymnasium.
The Blue Dons (1-0) outscored the Bishops (0-1) 21-6 in the opening stanza with senior Nicolette Sellitti getting 10 of her game-high 15 points. Sophomore Rachel Grubbs chipped in seven points in the blitz. Sellitti was 3-for-3 from behind the arc and hit two of them in the big first quarter.
''Many of our players are very young without varsity experience and that's the unknown for us going into the season," veteran Madonna coach Don Ogden said. ''I thought our seniors, Sellitti and (Amy) Davis held things together.''
Bishop Donahue’s Selena Ghaphery (12) dribbles as Madonna’s Nicolette Sellitti defends Monday night.
Ogden got 12 points from promising freshman Monica Bragg, who also swished one through from three-point land.
''Monica got to show some of her potential and our other freshman starter, Becca Holt, did a good job at point guard,'' Ogden said. ''The two Grubbs girls, Rachel and Leanne, gave us some good minutes. Yes, we're young, but it is nice to get that first win under our belt.''
Rachel Grubbs, who became ill in the second half, finished with eight points. The Blue Dons also got six points each from sophomore Aubrey Platek and freshman Isabella Rosso.
Bishop Donahue coach Don Gillis was quick to compliment Madonna.
''We really didn't shoot the ball very well and we had a lot of turnovers," he said. ''Last year we shot only 26 percent from the floor and it hasn't changed much this year even though a lot of the girls are seniors. We work on our shooting every day in practice, but we just can't get the shots to go in.
''I thought we hustled up and down the floor and ran our offense pretty well. Madonna's just a fantastic team. We like to play better teams and Madonna is one of them.''
The Bishops managed to sink nine field goals with Selena Ghaphery getting four the them. She led the scoring with nine points. Ali Bauer and Kelsey Schau each contributed six points and Kenedee Kleeh chipped in four as only four Bishop Donahue players got into the scoring column.
Madonna cooled off in the second with six points, but came back in the third to score 19 and put the game out of reach.
''I thought that after a good start we got a little sloppy in the second quarter, but we made some adjustments at halftime and did well in the second half,'' Ogden said.
The Blue Dons led 27-12 at the half and went into the final stanza with a comfortable 46-19 lead