Walsh Cavaliers college basketball men women G-MAC Ohio Valley

NORTH CANTON In a season of stop and go with COVID-related injuries and disruptions, Walsh’s men’s basketball team may finally be ready to build serious momentum.

Point guard Christian Montague, recovering from thumb surgery, made his seasonal debut on Saturday when Walsh shrugged off a nearly two-week layoff to beat Ohio Valley 73-61 at the Alumni Arena.

The Walsh women also have their point guard back and it looks like they could settle down. They demolished Ohio Valley 112-53 at the start of Saturday’s game.

The men played for the first time since they broke away, so no. 6 Findlay on January 10 (their games last week at Lake Erie and Dominican Ohio have been postponed due to COVID concerns) and only the fifth time in total this season. The Cavs (4-1, 4-1) welcomed Montague back on Saturday after tearing a ligament in his thumb in the preseason.

Walsh’s assistant coach Jeremy Shardo passed Montague and asked, “First game in 300 days?”

Montague smiled and corrected: “322 days”.

The Cavs missed it.

“He runs the shows,” said Walsh head coach Jeff Young. “I think he’s one of the best – if not the best – point guard in the league. It’s coming out of four days of testing and removing a lot of rust after six weeks. He still did some good things for us. … I don’t think he trusts his thumb yet, which is understandable. “

Montague finished with 10 points in 36 minutes and shot 4 of 11 from the floor and 1 of 5 from the arc. His only triple came during a pivotal 13-0 run for Walsh in the second half after Ohio Valley finished 40-38.

“My wind was pretty good,” Montague said. “I just have to get back to my pace. It’s been a while since I’ve played a game, so the more I play, the more comfortable I will feel. “

Senior guard Darryl Straughter led Walsh with 17 points and three assists.

Senior transfer Christian Simmons scored all 14 points in the second half off the bench. The 6-foot-5, 200-pound-forward pushed its two-bucket ways into the paint after Walsh’s lead was cut to a point. He later added a triple as Walsh retired for the G-MAC win.

“In a way he came in and changed the game against Findlay, and he did the same thing today,” said Young.

The freshman from Redshirt Milan Square went 4 out of 4 from 3 points for all 12 of his points. His 3 with 4:55 remaining in the first half came after Ohio Valley (1-7, 1-7) finished by 21-19 and scored a nearly five-minute field goal for Walsh. He scored a 3 in the second half to start the 13-0 run.

With so many early season games postponed and rescheduled for the end of the season, the Cavs are about to get busy. The games will come fast and furious, and Montague’s backcourt, Straughter, freshman Luke Howes, and second transfer Kaleb Martin must lead the way.

“I was a little worried about the rotation when I put Christian in because the boys play in different places,” said Young. “… I think we have four really good guards in Kaleb, Luke, Darryl and Christian. They will play a lot. We just have to find the right pace and rotation with those four guys. “

Walsh women follow the sales

Mayci Sales set a record 32 points and equalized a career record with 17 rebounds as the Walsh women won Saturday’s first game.

The Cavs’ 112 points are the highest since the 113-39 victory against Ursuline in the 2003-04 season.

Lexie Scarton recorded a triple double of 16 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds for Walsh (6-3, 6-3). The 12 assists equalized a record in the program.

Perhaps more important than a lopsided win against an over-match opponent, the Cavs are recovering key players from injury.

Point guard Alyssa Dean played in her second game after a meniscus injury forced her out in preseason. The junior redshirt finished with eight career points and six steals in 22 minutes.

“I think he needs to get comfortable again,” said Walsh coach Kate Bruce. “But even from Wednesday, when he started practicing, he only brings a new energy. She’s a good point guard and leader for us, so it’s exciting to have her back. “

Major guard Kimmie Borck will return next week after missing his last three games with an ankle injury. Award Transfer Morgan McMillen played one game due to a foot injury. The first that could return is March.

On Saturday, junior forward Walsh Sha Carter scored 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists despite a torn thumb ligament that will require surgery at the end of the season.

“There have just been a lot of adversities with COVID, so add the injuries,” Bruce said. “I think it was actually beneficial in the long run because it forced some people to come forward. … As I tell the girls, we have to play our best basketball in February and March. So we’re working on it right now. “

Abby Hickey shot 4 of 6 from 3 points and scored 15 points for Walsh. Megan Ball added 10 points.

Sales nearly surpassed Ohio Valley (0-4, 0-4) alone in the first half of Saturday. He had 18 points and 13 rebounds in the first half and Walsh was leading 55-21.

In the process, Sales crossed the 1,300-point milestone for his career. He is now in exclusive possession of the eighth place in Walsh history with 1,324 points.

“Every game we can count on her to score and rebound and leadership,” said Bruce. “There was a stretch this week during training when Sha was in quarantine and Kimmie was out with an injury. Mayci was the only captain on the pitch and he did a great job of making sure our practices looked as they should. “

Contact Josh at josh.weir@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @jweirREP

Via: www.cantonrep.com

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