ADAMS TOWNSHIP – Wilmington prevailed in the battle of Clinton County rivals, posting a 50-42 victory at Clinton-Massie Tuesday night at the Lebanon Road gym in a key SBAAC American Division contest.
With the victory, Wilmington improves to 7-4 overall and the Falcons fall to 4-2 on the season.
In the division, the Hurricane sits atop the loop at 3-0. Massie is 1-1.
Wilmington jumped out to a 12-6 first quarter lead and held a 26-18 lead at halftime. With an 11-8 edge in the third period, Wilmington extended the margin to 37-26 after three quarters of play. But, the Falcons would not go away and kept things close in the final period. The Falcons claimed the fourth quarter by a 16-13 margin.
The Falcons capitalized at the free throw line, connecting on 17 of 20 attempts, while Wilmington missed on both of its free throw opportunities.
Many fans and team members gathered at mid-court after the game, uniting in a prayer on behalf of former Falcons’ head coach Brian Mudd, who underwent a surgery to remove a brain tumor at Good Samaritan Hospital last Friday.
Through the assistance of a cell phone hookup through the PA microphone, the former Falcon coach addressed the crowd, thanking them for all the well wishes and the outpouring of love that has been extended to him and his wife Tammy.
Wilmington head coach Mike Noszka also remarked about his earlier years of coaching against Brian Mudd.
“Our prayers are with Brian and his family right now,” Noszka said. “I always respected Brian and his competitiveness and he always tried to do the right things for his kids. He is a credit to our profession and we are hoping for a full recovery by him from this.”
As for the game itself, Noszka felt a big factor was his players keeping Thomas Myers and Trey Uetrecht off the boards and limiting the Falcons to only one shot.
“We did the big things we had to do to win, but not the little things, ” Noszka said. “We committed way too many turnovers (22) and had a lot of empty possessions. We can’t afford to let teams stay with us and after building a comfortable lead (14 points) we did not put them away.”
In the other locker room, Falcon head coach Todd Cook was pleased with his success at the free throw line, but lamented their inability to score from the field.
“We missed too many easy baskets,” Cook said. “You cannot afford to give away layups and that really hurt us. We got the ball on their (Wilmington) turnovers, but failed to capitalize.
“Plus, they are a very disciplined team. They work for good shots, while we came down and just threw up shots. We have to do a better job with our (shot) selection. To have only four made baskets in the first half is inexcusable. Again, we dug ourselves a hole and had to spend a lot of energy just to get back in the game.”
For the Falcons, Uetrecht was the high scorer with 12 points, while Myers followed with 10.
For the Hurricane, Layne Griffith was the top scorer with 16, while Matt Smith added 14, including four treys.
Both teams will be on the road for their next games, as Wilmington travels to Goshen Friday night in SBAAC action. The Falcons will go to Batavia on Friday, and make the long trek to New Richmond Saturday night.
December 9 2018
@Lebanon Road gym
Wilmington 50 Clinton-Massie 42
(50) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Gauche 0-0-0-0 Griffith 8-0-0-16 Jacobyansky 3-0-0-6 Smith 5-4-0-14 Mansfield 3-0-0-6 Morris 1-1-0-3 Coomer 1-1-0-3 Taylor 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 22-6-0/2-50
(42) CLINTON-MASSIE (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Wolfe 2-0-0-4 Myers 2-0-6-10 Uetrecht 3-0-6-12 Laake 1-0-2-4 Settlemyre 1-0-0-2 Chowning 2-1-1-6 Tan Olberding 0-0-2-2 Campbell 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 12-1-17/20-42
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.