MOUNT ORAB – Wilmington maintained its undefeated record in SBAAC American Division play Friday night with a 65-49 victory over Western Brown.
With the win, WHS is now 11-5 overall and 6-0 in the division while the Broncos fall to 11-6 overall, 3-4 in the SBAAC.
Friday night’s game was the eighth time Wilmington has held an opponent under 50 points, and it was the seventh consecutive winning contest that the Hurricane opponent did not score 50 points against them.
The teams battled to a 14-14 standoff in the first quarter, but Wilmington outscored the Broncos 17-10 in the second period, taking a 31-24 lead at the intermission. Matt Smith had a pair of three-pointers in each of the first two periods. Jeffery Mansfield had six of his 10 points in the second quarter.
It was a strong defensive effort in the second half by the Hurricane that was the difference as Wilmington held the Broncos to just 25 points. Western Brown came into the game averaging better than six made three-pointers a game. WHS held them to three.
“We wanted to hold them to just three behind the arc, because they shoot it so well from there, and we especially kept it away from number 33 (Elijah Smith). He was held to just 10 points for the entire game,” said WHS head coach Mike Noszka. “After that first quarter, we really locked it down, and played the type of defense we’re capable of playing.”
Noszka believes this is another big road win for the Hurricane in its bid for a conference crown. The next challenge is less than 24 hours away.
“At the start of the year, we felt our three toughest games on the road would be at Clinton-Massie, here, and at Goshen,” said Noszka. “So, we will need to come right back with a strong effort there, playing these teams back-to-back.”
Wilmington will play at Goshen 4 p.m. Saturday. The junior varsity game tips off at 2:30 p.m.
On the strength of seven three-pointers, Smith led the Hurricane with 23 points. Mansfield connected for 20 points, eight in the final period.
Willie Morris, a key contributor, added nine points.
Wilmington played without the services of Sam Jacobyansky, who sustained an injury in practice earlier in the week.
“I really feel we are showing noticeable improvement and are getting better,” Noszka said.
February 2 2018
@Western Brown High School
Wilmington 65 Western Brown 49
(65) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Morris 4-1-0-9 Gauche 2-0-0-4 Mansfield 8-0-4-20 Smith 8-7-0-23 Griffith 3-0-0-6 Coomer 0-0-1-1 Cherisca 1-0-0-2 Taylor 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 26-8-5-65
(49) WESTERN BROWN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Wolfe 2-1-0-5 Eyre 0-0-0-0 Finn 7-1-3-18 Fischer 2-0-0-4 Smith 4-0-2-10 Keller 0-0-0-0 Taylor 2-1-3-8 Tull 1-0-0-2 McKibben 0-0-0-0 Crall 1-0-0-2. TOTALS 19-3-8-49
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet