WILMINGTON – As Wilmington Hurricane basketball coach Mike Noszka said in this post-game remarks, “You win championships by playing defense.”
How true, because the Hurricane locked it down, and played superb defense Friday night in defeating the Goshen Warriors, 56-39. Quite a contrast as these two teams met less than one week ago, and the Hurricane prevailed in a shootout, 82-72.
Fittingly, Wilmington cut down the nets following the contest, symbolic of winning the league championship of the SBAAC American Division.
Noszka felt the biggest reason Wilmington prevailed was their effort to contain the Warriors’ Tony Moore.
“We just held one of the league’s best players (Tony Moore) to zero points,” said Noszka. “It’s a tribute to the way these kids played defense tonight, and we had to tighten things up after last week’s game against them. I felt we struggled on offense at times, finishing off our plays, and some of our shots were not falling. But, we turned it up when we had to.”
Wilmington held a 17-13 lead after the first quarter, and thanks to a 9-6 edge in the second period, took a 26-19 lead at halftime.
Wilmington held Goshen without a field goal in the third quarter, and with a 10-4 count, increased the lead to 36-23 at the third quarter break. Goshen did not score a second half field goal until the 4:44 mark of the final period on a layup by Victor Hill. Goshen was 9 of 13 from the free throw line in the final period.
The 39 points allowed by Wilmington is the second lowest total in a conference game. New Richmond scored 25 against WHS earlier in the year.
Wilmington had two players in double figures, with Jeffery Mansfield leading the way with 26, 12 in the first half and 14 more in the second half.
He accounted for 12 of Wilmington’s 20 points in the final period of play.
Layne Griffith, who ignited the third quarter run with six straight points on three field goals, added 12 points on the night.
For Goshen, Christian Kollmorgen was their top scorer with 19 points. He scored 11 of Goshen’s first period points.
For the Hurricane, they will bring the curtain down on their home schedule Saturday night, facing Winton Woods, in a non-conference game.
“We will find out how good we really are, in less than 24 hours, because Winton Woods is the real deal,” Noszka said.
February 9 2018
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 56 Goshen 39
(39) GOSHEN (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Harrison 0-0-0-0 Bailey 1-0-1-3 T. Moore 0-0-0-0 Dato 0-0-0-0 Kollmorgen 5-3-6-19 H. Slusher 1-0-1-3 Armacost 0-0-0-0 Hill 1-0-2-4 Kilgore 0-0-0-0 Proffitt 0-0-1-1 B. Moore 1-1-0-3 A. Slusher 1-0-4-6 Ashcraft 0-0-0-0. TOTALS 10-4-15-39
(56) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Morris 1-1-0-3 Coomer 3-0-2-8 Gauche 0-0-2-2 Griffith 6-0-0-12 Smith 1-1-2-5 Mansfield 8-1-9-26. TOTALS 19-3-15-56
Bill Liermann covers college and high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @lierjet.