MORROW — Stifling defense and second-chance opportunities on offense proved to be the difference for Little Miami’s girls basketball team Tuesday night in a 45-29 victory over Wilmington.
Little Miami improved to 5-7 with its third straight win. In its first game in two weeks, Wilmington fell to 3-5.
Wilmington used the outside shot in the first half to keep the game close. After falling behind 11-3 early in the second, Wilmington outscored Little Miami 15-8 over the final 7:35 of the first half.
Only one of Wilmington’s field goals in the first half was made inside the arc. The Panthers led by one, 19-18, at the break.
In the second half, Little Miami took advantage of some of their 16 offensive rebounds to get second and third chances to extend its lead.
Meanwhile, the Panther defense clamped down, holding Wilmington scoreless for the first 10:17 of the second half. Before Taylor Noszca’s three with 5:43 left in the fourth, the Little Miami lead had ballooned to 36-18.
“We didn’t score and we got killed on the boards,” WHS head coach Zach Williams said. “Those two things are a recipe for disaster. We had opportunities to put the ball in the hoop and we didn’t take advantage of those opportunities.”
The Hurricane got to within 13 but got no closer.
Elle Martin led WHS with 11 points. Noszca and Sophie Huffman each had six. Six of Wilmington’s 10 field goals came from three-point range.
Mara Briscoe led Little Miami with 15 points. Bella Houillion added 12 points.
Little Miami was the latest opponent in a tough non-conference schedule for Wilmington.
“We knew Little Miami would be aggressive,” Williams said. “I knew it was going to be a tough game. Now we’ve got Batavia coming in Thursday at our place. They’re going to come in and be physical and play you just as tough.”
Tuesday, January 4, 2022
At Little Miami High School
Little Miami 45, Wilmington 29
(29) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Madison Schuster 1-0-1-3, Taylor Noszka 2-2-0-6, Sophie Huffman 2-1-1-6, Elle Martin 4-3-0-11, Katie Murphy 1-0-1-3. TOTALS 10-6-3-29.
(45) LITTLE MIAMI (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Anna Trimble 1-0-0-2, Alyssa Brown 2-1-0-5, Bella Houillion 4-0-4-12, Sydney Blake 0-0-1-1, Lilah Dalraine 1-0-0-2, Lexi Thompson 1-0-0-2, Brooke Thompson 2-0-2-6, Mara Briscoe 5-3-2-15. TOTALS 16-4-9-16.
Matt Sexton covers high school sports for the News Journal. Follow him on Twitter @MattSextonPxP.