MCMECHEN - When last he played in front of a packed home gym, Bishop Donahue's Chaice Truex was a good post player.
That was last winter. What a difference a year makes.
Truex, showing a variety of strong post moves as well as short step-back fadeaway jumpers, finished with 26 points in the Bishops' dominating opening-night 110-43 victory against Beallsville Friday night.
Bishop Donahue’s Jesse Padlow (15) pulls down a rebound in front of Beallsville’s Christian Palmer (5).
Bryce Jones, the team's returning leading scorer, led the way with 28 points while Jared Yates had 15, Taylor Straughn 12 and Josh Miller 10.
Before the game, the late Timmy "Dino" Smith, who worked with the team for 35 years, was honored and the school named the court after him and also honored his family.
"It was an emotional evening, with honoring Dino," Bishop Donahue coach Tom Wise said. "We played sky-high, we were charged up and I'm not sure we could have played much better."
Truex was at center of the storm, as he controlled the boards and the inside, with 15 rebounds to go with his 26 points.
"He's improved tremendously, it's night and day from last year," Wise said. "You could tell coming into the season that he was a much better player. He worked hard in the summer. I think at some point (during the summer) he realized that he had a big body (he's 6-foot-4) and he could do anything he wanted to do out there."
It's something the guy known as "Chief" fully endorsed.
"Playing in the summer, I think I realized that if I could score a lot of points against a (Wheeling) Park or (Wheeling) Central than I should be able to do it all the time," Truex said. "Playing football helped. I'm in a lot better shape than I was last season and I can get up and down the floor better and that is going to open a lot more opportunities to score. In our offense, you have to be able to get up and down the floor."
Bishop Donahue took control early and Beallsville (0-5) never adjusted to the tempo, as the Bishops continued to get out on the run and scored easy baskets.
"This is a hard place to play even if they aren't good and they are a very good team," Beallsville coach Jordan Stephens said. "We didn't have our point guard, who is playing baseball in Florida. We don't have a couple of kids for other reasons. The bottom line is we didn't do the little things right. But that is a credit to them. They forced us into that situation."
Truex, who averaged 10.5 a game last year, had 10 in the first quarter and 16 at the half, as Bishop Donahue took a commanding 59-21 lead.
Wise was able to sub freely and 10 players scored for the Bishops.
Jones and Truex were done by the end of the third quarter and did not play in parts of the second and third.
Still, the duo was dynamite when they were on the floor, taking over both the first and third quarters.
Bishop put up 33 in the third, with Jones and Truex scoring 23.
"We expect that from Bryce, he's a scorer," Wise said. "It was nice to see Chaice go out there and show how much he has improved."
It was by design.
"I had three against them last year, I felt like I had to go out there and show that I can play," Truex said. "It is a credit to my teammates. They got me the ball. We can be a good team. We've lost to Wheeling Central every year in the sectional tournament and that is the milestone for us."
Christian Palmer had 15 for Beallsvillle and Dalton Secrest 14.