WILMINGTON — Wilmington quickly put behind it an 80-54 loss at New Richmond Friday and bounced back Saturday with a 57-52 victory over Cincinnati Northwest at Fred Summers Court.
“Last night, we played decent, but not up to our standards. We made some bad mistakes at crucial times. We didn’t shoot the ball well at all, missed easy buckets that killed momentum. That changed our body language and really did get to us,” WHS head coach Jermaine Isaac said. “But it was nice we had less than 24 hours to get back on to the court. Our guys were really itching to get back on the court and prove themselves.”
Wilmington (4-2) led most of the night, except for when Northwest hit a three to start the game, when the game was tied at 15 midway through the second quarter, and when the Knights led 19-18 and 22-21 late in the second quarter.
Northwest (1-4) lurked behind Wilmington most of the evening. Its largest deficits were 29-22 after Collin Barker hit a pair of jumpers in the lane to start the second half and 51-37 after Wilmington started the final period with an 11-0 run.
“Today, there were a lot of highs and lows. We got off to a good start. They made some plays in the second quarter, let them back in the game. We came out at halftime and made a run,” Isaac said. “It was really good to see our guys respond really well, stay mentally locked in. Our shot selection tonight was outstanding. That really helped us keep the lead.”
The Knights stopped Wilmington’s fourth-quarter run with six straight, and made things interesting with a pair of threes down the stretch.
“We continue to grow and mature. Games like last night, those can be very hard if you don’t learn from them. Our guys definitely learned from it,” Isaac said. “Going back to the Hillsboro game, it was a similar situation as tonight. We had, I think, a 13-point lead going into the fourth. We wound up winning by one. Tonight, our guys did a much better job of taking better job of taking care of the basketball and understanding what the coaches want, like using clock but being aggressive. We did that, spread them out well, were smart with the basketball and found some easy layups late in the game.”
Luke Blessing led the Hurricane with 21 points, with seven in each of the first two quarters. Barker chipped in with 15.
Northwest’s Braden Miller led all scorers with 22.
December 18, 2021
@Fred Summers Court
Wilmington 57 Northwest 52
(52) NORTHWEST (fg-ft-tp) Yun 1-0-3, Love 1-1-4, Bibbs 1-0-2, Davenport 1-4-7, Miller 9-1-22, Jones 2-0-4, Gates 0-0-0, Postway 5-0-10. Total 20-6-52. 3-point goals: 6 (Miller 3, Davenport, Love, Yun). FTM-FTA 6-7, 86 percent
(57) WILMINGTON (fg-ft-tp) Blessing 9-1-21, Brown 2-0-4, Baltazar 3-2-9, Bernhardt 3-0-6, Barker 7-0-15, Warix 0-0-0, Griffith 0-0-0, Lazic 1-0-2. Total 25-3-57. 3-point goals: 4 (Blessing 2, Baltazar, Barker). FTM-FTA 3-5, 60 percent.
Shawn Robinson covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @twinzdad01.