MT. ORAB — Forcing 30 Western Brown turnovers, Wilmington cruised to a 63-37 win over Western Brown in the season opener at the WB gym.
The Lady Hurricane defense was riding on full throttle, forcing the Lady Broncos into 17 first half turnovers and 30 for the game.
“I was pleased with our defense, especially early on,” WHS head coach Zach Williams said after the game. “I was pleased with our communication and the pressure we put on the ball.”
For Williams, the win was his first as the varsity girls basketball coach at WHS.
“I had no idea what to expect,” he said. “I was pleased, excited.”
Mya Jackson, who is being courted by several Div. I colleges, led all scorers with 24 points, displaying a full array of offensive talents in this one – defense, three-pointers, layups, mid-range jumpers.
“We are not going to take away her aggressiveness,” said Williams. “She’s a tough one to stop. Her defense is top notch.”
Neither team shot well at the free throw line, Wilmington made just 5 of 14 while Western Brown converted only 7 of 22.
“Atrocious,” Williams said of the Lady Hurricane free throws. “We know we have to work on it.”
Wilmington struggled early on the offensive end, going scoreless for the first three minutes of the game. Jackson converted a steal into a layup to cut the deficit to 5-2 at the 5:00 mark.
The Lady Hurricane was tenacious in the backcourt on defense and had several offensive rebounds in the opening quarter.
After missing her first three shots – airball, blocked shot and missed jumper – Jackson caught fire to finish with 10 points in the quarter as WHS led 17-7.
Despite mounting foul trouble, WHS continued its offensive onslaught. Jackson netted four early and Katlyn Jamiel dumped one into Sarah Quallen for a bank shot bucket as the WHS lead grew.
Wilmington went up 28-10 midway through the second when Sami McCord found a wide open Jasmine Jamiel, freshman maknig her first varsity start, for a left wing three-pointer. That was the first of two trifectas in the second period for Jasmine, the second on an assist from Jackson made it 35-12 WHS.
The pace slowed a bit in the third. WHS seemed to lose its edge a bit on offense but the defense was still active, forcing seven WB miscues in the period.
In the fourth, Williams subbed liberally, clearing the bench to give every player in uniform court time in the season-opening victory.
“I was happy to be able to do that and give them some experience which could help us down the road,” he said.
UP NEXT: Wilmington will head to Dayton to face the Lady Eagles of Chaminade-Julienne High School. Junior varsity tip-off is set for 6 p.m. Monday.
Western Brown will play at Williamsburg Thursday with a 6 p.m. JV start.
FAMILIAR FACE: Dennis Overstake is the head coach of Western Brown’s varsity squad. Overstake is one of the top coaches in the state, having carved out a successful career as the head coach of the McClain Lady Tigers. He was 501-201 with McClain and 11-13 in his first year at WBHS.
NO FAITH, NO JOHNS: Wilmington played without starting guards from a year ago Suzannah Johns and Faith Sanderson, both in street clothes on the bench.
YOUNGINS: Both Wilmington and Western Brown have two seniors on their respective rosters. The two combined for 14 juniors, though.
FUTURE MATES: Wilmington and Western Brown played in a non-league game on this day but next season the two will be members of the Southern Buckeye Athletic & Academic Conference American Division.
November 29, 2016
@Western Brown High School
Wilmington 63 Western Brown 37
(63) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) J. Jamiel 3-2-0-8 Jackson 10-2-2/7-24 Quallen 2-0-0-4 Harris 1-0-0-2 K. Jamiel 2-0-/1-4 Fryman 0-0-0-0 Edingfield 1-0-3/4-5 Stewart 1-0-0-2 Frisco 4-0-0/2-8 McCord 2-0-0-4 Victor 0-0-0-0 Morgan 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 27-4-5/14-63
(37) WESTERN BROWN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Cooper 1-0-0-2 Kleemeyer 1-1-2/2-5 Whisman 3-1-1/2-8 Pinkerton 2-0-3/9-7 Huseman 0-0-0/2-0 Young 1-0-0-2 Darnall 5-0-1/5-11 Barthel 0-0-0/2-0 Fischer 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 14-2-7/22-37
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports