Boys Hoops Final: Wilmington 61, Batavia 54


By Shawn Robinson - WNJ Sports Writer



BATAVIA — Wilmington rode a parade of free throws in the game’s final 3:09 to beat Batavia 61-54 in Southern Buckeye Conference American Division action Monday.

Wilmington’s victory avenges a 52-51 loss at home to Batavia Feb. 1 after Wilmington led 36-23 at halftime.

WHS head coach Jermaine Isaac made certain his team wouldn’t forget that loss in the team’s home finale. He shouted 51-52 repeatedly in the second half Monday night.

“In the lockerroom (at halftime), we told them we need to return the favor,” Isaac said. “This is their last game home and we wanted to return the favor. Getting our guys to remember the score of that (first) game and all that emotion how you felt during that time in the lockerrom seeing that scoreboard 51-52 … using any motivation to get our guys locked in.”

With the game tied 43-43 with 3:09 left Monday, Shayne Griffith, shooting for Mikey Brown Jr. who was shaken up on the play, hit both ends of the 1-and-1.

About a minute later, Brown hit the front end of a 1-and-1 and then Luke Blessing hit both technical free throws for the T whistled on the Bulldog who fouled Brown.

Brown hit another free throw and Collin Barker added two more to put Wilmington up 51-43 with 1:25 left in the game.

Batavia hit a 3 but Wilmington responded with two more Blessing free throws, and then secured the victory with a home run pass to Blessing for a layup, a run out layup for Cole Bernhardt and another pair of free throws for Barker. In the end, WHS connected on 15 of 18 from the line in the fourth.

“The game is a lot easier when the guys are making a lot of free throws and shooting the ball decently well,” Isaac said. “It was really big for our guys to be able to focus in a hostile environment on the road to shoot that well from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.”

Blessing led Wilmington (10-9, 3-7) with 22 points, 16 in the second half. Barker had 18.

Max Applegate led Batavia (14-6, 6-3) with 14.

Wilmington fell in an 8-0 hole the first half of the first quarter but climbed out to lead 14-12 at the end of one. Avery Warix hit a three at buzzer for the lead.

“We got off to a rough start,” said Isaac. “It’s hard to beat somebody twice. The first game we knew we were going to surprise them. This time we knew they were going to be prepared. We made a couple tweaks to our defense, couple tweaks offensively and everything kind of went well for us.”

The Hurricane led all the way until the 3:25 mark of the third quarter when Batavia went up 31-30 halfway through what would be a 10-0 run that would put Batavia up 36-30 with 2:47 left.

The Bulldogs led 39-32 with a minute left in the third before Wilmington went on a 10-2 run to take a 42-41 advantage with 5:20 to go in the contest.

That was the first of four ties or lead changes during the next 2:11 before Wilmington took the lead for good.

Wilmington begins tournament play 7:30 p.m. Friday versus Middletown Bishop Fenwick at Mason High School.

SUMMARY

February 14, 2022

@Batavia High School

Wilmington 61 Batavia 54

W^14^9^14^24^^61

B^12^7^22^13^^54

(61) WILMINGTON (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Blessing 8-2-4-22 Warix 1-1-0-3 Brown 0-0-4-4 Baltazar 3-0-0-6 Killen 0-0-0-0 Bernhardt 1-0-1-3 Barker 6-3-5-18 Griffith 0-0-2-2 Lazic 0-0-3-4 TOTALS 18-6-19/26-61

(54) BATAVIA (fg-3fg-ft-tp) Congo 2-1-0-5 Epps 2-1-1-6 Applegate 5-4-0-14 Myers 4-3-0-9 Lusk 0-0-0-0 Hensley 0-0-0-0 Conner 0-0-2-2 Weisbrodt 2-0-4-8 Shepherd 0-0-0-0 Barger 5-0-0-10 TOTALS 20-7-7/10-54

https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/02/web1_LOGO_whsswirl-6.jpg

By Shawn Robinson

WNJ Sports Writer