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Park’s Super Subs

Bell, Moffett are providing a spark

January 8, 2014
By DAVE MORRISON - Staff Writer (DMorrison@theintelligencer.net) , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - The moniker "Super Sub" fits Elijah Bell like a glove.

Ditto for Chalmer Moffett.

The duo has given Wheeling Park coach Michael Jebbia a good one-two off the bench.

Article Photos

File photo by Dave Morrison

Wheeling Park's Elijah Bell

They aren't going to be double figure scorers (at least not yet, though they are each capable of doing it on a per-game basis) but they do a lot of the little things that are going to help take Park as far as it can go.

Bell, a lanky 6-foot-1, 183-pound sophomore, causes disruption as soon as he hits the floor.

"He brings energy," Jebbia said. "Look at our last game (a loss to undefeated Seton-LaSalle at the Cancer Research Classic), he came in in the second quarter had a steal, an assist, an offensive rebound and a basket. He really got us going."

Some think Bell is also one of the top on-ball defenders in the state.

"I can't speak for other parts of the state but I definitely think, in our area, he'd be up there," Jebbia said. "He is capable of being a starter for us, but he knows what his role is and he accepts it and he has really excelled at what we ask him to do. Defend the other team's best scorer, and do those little things that lead to transition points."

Put in a tape of any of the Patriots' first six games and when Bell enters, chaos ensues.

Bell is averaging 4.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists and a team-best 2.0 steals.

Moffett is averaging 5.3 rebounds and 4.5 rebounds. The football player, who at 6-4, 215-pounds is like a block of granite, gives what you'd expect.

"He's a physical presence," Jebbia said. "He isn't going to be moved easily. He rebounds and he can score around the basket. It's huge to have him come off the bench and give us that post presence inside."

Park (4-2) is at John Marshall tonight.

- There is a method to Paden City coach Fred King's madness.

For the first time, the Wildcats have scheduled a game with Wheeling Central in the regular season.

They have played four times previously, three times in the regional finals and once in the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference tournament.

King has also added Magnolia back to the schedule, as well as playing Belpre for the first time and he also has River back in the fold.

"I've been working on this for a year-and-a-half," King said. "I wanted to upgrade the schedule. I don't know what will happen with wins and losses but the good thing is this will challenge our kids. These are very good teams. They will expose you and we can look at that on film and it's going to make us a better team. Predicting what might happen would be like predicting what the powerball number will be."

King's 4-2 Paden City squad has had a good start, behind big man Kennedy Cain, who is averaging 23.2 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 2.0 steals. Luke Cooper is averaging 13.2 and 8.0 rebounds and Zach Heasley 13.0 points and 8.3 rebounds.

When two of the three scorers hit double figures, the Wildcats are 4-0.

- A collective "what?" went up when the first Associated Press regular-season basketball poll was released.

It revealed that Westside, in Wyoming County, was No. 2, ahead of Wyoming East, which was No. 4.

Problem? Wyoming East just beat its Wyoming County rival - one of, if not the top, rivalry in the state - 77-71 on Saturday night at Clear Fork.

Another team with a legitimate question is Wheeling Central.

The Maroon Knights are No. 2, behind No. 1 Charleston Catholic, which fell to Linsly on Saturday.

Not that coach Mel Stephens has noticed.

"I don't pay much attention to it," Stephens said. "The only time I'll worry about whether or not we are ranked No. 1 is March 22 (after the state tournament)."

True, it is just a poll. Yet the Maroon Knights are 5-0 (and one of three undefeated teams remaining in the OVAC along with Union Local and Parkersburg South) and have played a killer schedule, which includes Shadyside, Bishop Donahue, Steubenville Catholic, Martins Ferry and St. Josephs Prep out of Philadelphia.

The road gets no easier Friday when Central plays host to Magnolia.

- Ross Comis is just as adept at basketball as he is football, and, considering the fact that he was runner-up for the Kennedy Award, that is saying something.

Comis is averaging 22.3 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 steals per game.

He only appeared in four games last year, the final two regular-season games and two sectional tournament games, because of a hand injury suffered during football season.

He was banged up during football but hasn't missed a beat in returning to the hardwood this season and leading the Blue Dons to a 4-2 record.

 
 

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