BBK Final: Wilmington 44, Clinton-Massie 37


By Shawn Robinson - WNJ Sports Writer



Blake Ireland, Alex Warix, Carter Euton | Elizabeth Clark Photo

Blake Ireland, Alex Warix, Carter Euton | Elizabeth Clark Photo


Collin Barker | Elizabeth Clark Photo


Cole Bernhardt | Elizabeth Clark Photo


Mikey Brown and Carter Euton | Elizabeth Clark Photo


Lex Russell | Elizabeth Clark Photo


Jerry Trout and Kellen Baltazar | Elizabeth Clark Photo


ADAMS TOWNSHIP – Wilmington ended a three-game losing streak and swept the season series from from county and Southern Buckeye Conference American Division rival Clinton-Massie with a 44-37 victory at Brian P. Mudd Court Friday.

The game was tied at 7 after a quarter and 16 at the intermission Friday. Wilmington led by no more than six points until parading to the free throw line in the final minute of the game.

“That’s the way the Clinton-Massie-Wilmington game should be, historically. That was a good ole Clinton County slugfest,” CM head coach Steve Graves said. “That was awesome. It was fun to be a part of. We came up short.”

It was a far cry from their first meeting, a 71-47 Wilmington win on Fred Summers Court.

“Massie has gotten better. The first time we played them, they weren’t in basketball shape and they didn’t know much of their system. They are in better basketball shape. They are running a 2-3 matchup zone that’s been giving people trouble, because it’s different and you don’t see it a lot. They are shooting the ball well. That (Jerry) Trout kid, number 12, didn’t play varsity the first time (we met); that kid can stroke it, that young man can play,” WHS head coach Jermaine Isaac said when asked about the difference between their first and second meetings. “That’s a credit to their coaching staff. They’re playing better basketball at the right time.

“We’ve had some COVID over the last week and a half. We were out for four days, not doing anything. We’re getting back in shape. It’s a combination of all of that stuff, but the main thing is Massie’s better.”

Trout led Massie with 12 points on three-pointers in each quarter.

“That first time we played them, we were coming off football,” CM head coach Steve Graves said. “We’re running our matchup zone pretty well right now. That takes a lot of practice. I thought that was a big difference for us to stay in the game.”

Wilmington (7-5, 2-3) took its first six-point lead, 13-7, with the first six points of the second quarter. Clinton-Massie (4-9, 0-5) matched the Hurricane with the last six points of the quarter.

The Hurricane led by six again, 24-18 with 4:08 left in the third quarter, thanks to another 6-0 spurt. Thanks to scoring on five straight possessions from 5:20 in the third quarter to the 2:28 mark, Wilmington had a 29-23 advantage.

“We shot the ball better today than we did during our three-game losing streak,” Isaac said. “We got back on track today. Big Cole Bernhardt played like a big man today. He did well defensively, blocking shots, being an intimidator, finishing around the rim.”

Bernhardt led all scorers with 16 points. Teammate Collin Barker chipped in with 14.

Clinton-Massie pulled within one possession of Wilmington late in the third quarter and again in the middle of the fourth quarter, but a pair of fateful stretches doomed the Falcons.

In the final seconds of the third quarter, with Massie trailing 31-28, Lex Russell took a steal in for an apparent score but it was waved off by an offensive foul. Had it gone the other way, Russell would’ve headed to the line to try to tie the game. Falcon Blake Ireland stole the ensuing inbound pass but he couldn’t convert at the buzzer.

Trailing 35-33 with 3:39 left in the game, Massie had a turnover, offensive foul, air ball and turnover on consecutive possessions that allowed Wilmington to push its margin back to six again, 39-33.

“That stretch there in the fourth quarter when it was a one-possession game, we had the ball four straight times and we had some guys come down and just do uncharacteristic things,” Graves said. “We kind of got away from moving the basketball. We just couldn’t quite execute offensively there. I think that was pretty much the game for us there.”

Clinton-Massie returns to the floor Saturday, Jan. 22, with a non-conference matchup at home versus Miami Trace.

Wilmington will next play at Western Brown Tuesday, Jan. 25.

SUMMARY

WHS – 7 9 15 13 – 44

CM – 7 9 12 9 – 37

WHS (44) – Blessing 3-2-9, Brown 0-3-3, Baltazar 1-0-2, Bernhardt 8-0-16, Barker 5-2-14, Warix 0-0-0, Killen 0-0-0, Griffith 0-0-0, Lazic 0-0-0. Total 17-7-44. 3-point goal: 3 (Barker 2, Blessing). FTM-FTA 7-9, 78 percent.

CM (37) – Euton 2-2-6, Zantene 0-0-0, Trout 4-0-12, Trick 1-3-5, Russell 3-1-7, Engelhard 0-0-0, Lamb 0-0-0, Ireland 2-2-7, Jones 0-0-0, Muterspaw 0-0-0. Total 12-8-37. 3-point goals: 5 (Trout 4, Ireland). FTM-FTA 8-11, 73 percent.

Blake Ireland, Alex Warix, Carter Euton | Elizabeth Clark Photo
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/01/web1_BBK_cmBIreland0121ec.jpgBlake Ireland, Alex Warix, Carter Euton | Elizabeth Clark Photo

Collin Barker | Elizabeth Clark Photo
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/01/web1_BBK_wilCBarker0121ec.jpgCollin Barker | Elizabeth Clark Photo

Cole Bernhardt | Elizabeth Clark Photo
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/01/web1_BBK_wilCBernhardt0121ec.jpgCole Bernhardt | Elizabeth Clark Photo

Mikey Brown and Carter Euton | Elizabeth Clark Photo
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/01/web1_BBK_cmCEuton0121ec.jpgMikey Brown and Carter Euton | Elizabeth Clark Photo

Lex Russell | Elizabeth Clark Photo
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/01/web1_BBK_cmLRussell0121ec.jpgLex Russell | Elizabeth Clark Photo

Jerry Trout and Kellen Baltazar | Elizabeth Clark Photo
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/01/web1_BBK_wilKBaltazar0121ec.jpgJerry Trout and Kellen Baltazar | Elizabeth Clark Photo

By Shawn Robinson

WNJ Sports Writer